Effective September 14, 2022, the Summit Free Public Library will no longer charge late fines on most circulating materials.
Exceptions to this fines-free policy are: lost and damaged items, items from the Library of Things, Museum Passes, and Interlibrary Loans. Patrons are still responsible for returning materials by their due date, so that they can be shared with others in the community.
“We are delighted to end the practice of charging overdue fines,” said Amy Behr-Shields, Director. “Our goal is to welcome the community into an environment of lifelong learning. The elimination of overdue fines creates a welcoming experience and environment for everyone in the community.”
Libraries carry a tradition of providing space for community gathering and events, offering access to research and literature, and promoting literacy and lifelong learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. By eliminating fines, the Summit Free Public Library aims to provide greater access for all community members to use the Library’s resources and materials. In 2019, the American Library Association passed a resolution that asserted fines are a barrier to equitable access and encouraged libraries to eliminate them. Since then, many libraries in New Jersey and across the country have adopted fine-free policies.
The Library’s mission is to inform, to enrich, and to inspire, and ensuring that the Library’s resources remain fully accessible is another step in fulfilling this mission.