Fine Free

Our Library is Now Fine Free

We are happy to announce that starting August 23 we no longer charge daily overdue fines for materials checked out at the Tom Green County Library.

Q: Why are you getting rid of overdue fines?

A: Over the last two decades, public libraries have come to recognize fines as a barrier to access. By definition, library fines are regressive in the sense that they disproportionately impact those who are least able to pay them. Simply put, public libraries believe that no one should be denied access to the library or its collection because of an inability to pay.


Most larger libraries in Texas are now fine-free as well, including our friends in Midland, Abilene, and Alpine. We agree that it simply isn’t fair to continue to nickel and dime our patrons.


Q: Won’t the library suffer financially as a result?

A: The cost of assessing, maintaining, and collecting overdue fines largely outweighs any revenue generated by them.


Q: Does this mean I can keep a book or other item for as long as I want?

A: No. Standard due dates still apply. Library users will still be charged replacement costs for items that are lost or damaged. If an item is not returned or renewed within 28 days of the due date, the item will be considered lost and a replacement charge will be added to that user’s library account. That user will be blocked from checking out additional items until the charges are paid or the items are returned.


Q. What types of charges may still be incurred on my library account?

A. If an item is overdue for 28 days, it will be considered lost and a replacement cost will be charged to your account. Additionally, if an item is damaged or a part is missing from an item when it is returned, you may still be charged for the item.


Q. How long will it take for charges to be taken off of my account?

A. Library staff are working hard to waive existing fines accrued at our library as quickly as possible. We appreciate everyone’s patience! If the overdue fines on your account are preventing you from using the library, give us a call at 325-655-7321, and we’ll be happy to take care of those charges.


Q. I always thought of fines as a way to support the library. How do I continue to support the library, if not through fines?

A. We welcome your continued support! As always, the library relies on gifts and donations to purchase additional materials and fund programs for all ages. Donations to the library or to the Friends of the Library group can be mailed to the library to the attention of Director Jill Donegan:

Tom Green County Library
33 W. Beauregard Ave
San Angelo, Texas 76903