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Overdue Fines Resume May 1

Allegany County Library System staff are delighted to see you and welcome you back into our libraries since reopening this month. We look forward to the next phase of reopening and all the possibilities to continue meeting the community’s needs.

Over the last year, the library system suspended charging overdue fines. We wanted to make sure our community and students could still access library resources and do our part to assist while the community was going through unprecedented changes.

With the reopening of our libraries, we will resume the assessing of overdue fines for adults. This was a difficult but necessary decision, as our operating budget relies on collecting overdue fines.

We wanted to make this transition back to overdue fines as smooth a process as possible.

After May 1 all late items will be subject to our overdue fines schedule.

Here are some things we are doing to help prevent and minimize overdue fine barriers:

Minors are Fine Free

Starting March 8, 2021, the Allegany County Library System is no longer charging overdue fines to library users under the age of 18 years. Existing fine balances for minors will also be waived by June 30, 2021.

Automatic Renewals

We now automatically renew your materials as your due date approaches. Your items will not be renewed if others are waiting or if they have already reached their renewal limit. You may elect to receive notifications when items are near automatic renewal or their due date. Sign up for those notifications from your online account or by calling the library. If you are not sure if your items will renew, please contact the library. (Items from the Washington County Free Library DO NOT automatically renew, at this time.)

Overdue Fine Blocks Were Raised and Removed

We have raised the account balance limit before your borrowing privileges are suspended. Your borrowing privileges will now be suspended if you owe $20 or more in fines or fees.

You my continue to check out eBooks and other digital materials regardless of how much you owe. You may also use all library resources, including computers, inside our libraries regardless of the amount you owe.

DVD Limit Raised, Fines Lowered

We have raised the number of DVDs you can check out at a time to 25 DVDs for those extra-long binge nights and weekends! We’ve also lowered the fines on DVDs from $1 to $0.50 per DVD per day.

We are so thankful for our community and the level of precautions we have all taken to make it safe for us to reopen. We are also especially proud to be able to reopen and contribute to things getting things back to the way we like them and the positive feelings that come with it. We are aware that it will take time to heal our community from the pandemic and we look forward to working with our community partners and friends to make our community come back even stronger.

Library Cards Remain Valid for 3 Years

Library cards renew in order to keep your account information up-to-date and to assess any out of state library card fees. Library cards will now renew every three years, instead of once a year, and the out of state fee will remain $10, paid once every three years.