At their meeting on November 11, 2019, the Board of Trustees approved making the Mercer Public Library completely fine-free. There will be no overdue fines charged on any materials, including videos and special equipment.
Why go fine-free? It’s increasingly apparent to libraries across the country that charging overdue fines doesn’t really help get library materials returned sooner. Instead, it just penalizes those who need the library the most, like families with limited access to transportation, kids whose busy parents can’t get them to the library regularly, and seniors who rely on the help of friends and neighbors for errands. Our library materials belong to the community, and we hope our new fine-free policy will remove a barrier to library access for our community.
Patrons will overdue fines from the Mercer Library on their library record are encouraged to stop by the library, where we will waive those fines with no questions asked. (Note: we cannot waive fines owed to other libraries in the Merlin system.)
In order to make our books and movies available to as many people as possible, we do encourage patrons to respect the due dates on their items. If you wish to keep an item past its due date, please request a renewal by visiting the library, calling us at 715-476-2366, or logging into the Merlin library catalog with your library card number. Most items may be renewed twice if there are no other patrons waiting for them.
You do still need to return your items to the library, of course. Any items held more than 4 weeks past their due date are considered lost, and you will be billed for their full replacement cost plus a $5 service fee. Fees for lost items will be waived if those items are returned in good condition. Any items returned with damage beyond normal use will also be billed to you for replacement.
If you have any questions about this or any other library policy, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 715-476-2366.