No More Late Fees

As of June 8, 2022, the Lake Region Public Library will no longer be charging late fees daily for overdue items. We have also cleared any lingering late charges on patron accounts; go ahead and log in to your account and see for yourself!

What does this mean for checking out books, movies, and board games?

This does not change circulation rules and habits. Items are still checked out for 7-21 days depending on the item; you just won’t accrue a fee if you’re a couple days late in returning them. If an item is not checked in or renewed within 30 days past its due date, it will be marked as “lost” and you, the borrower, will be assessed the replacement cost of the item. You can always return or renew items by coming into the library, dropping books in our outdoor 24/7 dropbox, renewing items through our website, or calling us at 701-662-2220. Items may be renewed up to three times, as long as there are no reserve lists for any one item.

What happens if I get a lost fee on my account?

If a lost fee is assessed on your account, you will be unable to check out more items until the lost item is returned or replaced. You will also be sent to debt collections, in accordance with library policies, if the item is marked lost for too long. Computer use and other library resources may also be suspended at this time.

Why get rid of late fees?

The Lake Region Public Library Board of Directors voted unanimously on June 1, 2022 to eliminate late fees to get rid of any financial barriers that may be keeping patrons out of the library. There are several reasons the Lake Region Public Library has joined the hundreds of libraries across the state and country in going late fee-free, including:
Studies from other libraries show that per day late fines are ineffective for getting patrons to return items on time. Suspending borrowing privileges is more effective, without creating a barrier for library patrons. 
– Fines disproportionately affect patrons in lower-income areas, deterring patrons who need the Library from utilizing resources.

Why do I still have a balance on my account?

All late fees have been waived, but any other fees or fines (such as lost or damaged items) are still in place.

Won’t this make it harder to get the books I want?

The Lake Region Public Library does not anticipate that this will negatively impact holding times. Items are still due as per our circulation policy, and fines will still be assessed upon failure to return materials.

What if I return a “lost” item?

As long as the item is returned prior to being sent to debt collections, you will not be charged any replacement fees. However, if an item is returned after being sent to collections, there will still be a $10 collections fee. This is just to reimburse the library for charges from the collections agency. 

Why still charge “lost” fees?

The Library’s collection – the books, movies, and other materials – is at the core of our services, and is a substantial investment of taxpayer funds. In order to be good stewards of these funds, it is important that we enforce compensation for lost, damaged, or stolen items.

Remind me of your general circulation rules.

Circulation rules can be found on our Library Policies page.