Charles City Public Library goes Fine Free!


The library is pleased to announce that all collections except equipment will be fine free. Beginning July 1, 2022, the library will stop charging late fees for all books, DVDs, magazines, and audiobooks. We are excited to be following the practice of many libraries around the country and removing this potential barrier to library services.  Fines can be an obstacle that disproportionately impact people without the means to pay. Removing these fines (while still requiring the items to be returned) will allow more people to enjoy our materials. Patrons will continue to be charged for lost or damaged items, and fines will remain in effect for circulating equipment like hotspots, projectors, sound systems, launchpads, and activity kits.

Patrons are still expected to return materials in good condition. If materials are not returned within 60 days after the intended due date, patrons will be charged the full cost of replacing the material. As incentive to return materials, patrons with items that are more then 2 weeks overdue will not be allowed to check out additional materials without returning or renewing items.

The library board made the decision to eliminate barriers for all patrons after an initial trial of eliminating fines on children’s materials in October 2021. There was not an increase in lost materials after the adoption and so it was decided to expand the benefit to all patrons.  With this change, Charles City joins many libraries throughout the country that have gone fine free after the American Library Association passed a resolution in 2019 citing mounting evidence that eliminating fines increases library use. In this resolution, ALA also recognized fines as a form of “social inequity” and urged libraries to actively “move toward eliminating them.”

The library is a place for everyone, and our staff and board are doing what we can to make it so that everyone can feel welcome at the library and use the resources that it offers. Any questions may be addressed to Annette Dean, Library Director at 641-257-6319 or at