Fines Free and Recovering Material – Not Mutually Exclusive

Fines Free and Recovering Material – Not Mutually Exclusive

“Why am I receiving a bill? I’m not supposed to have fines.

Heard this before? Maybe your library is already fines free library or you are considering changing your policies. A serious concern by many in your circulation department is the return of materials by patrons without alienating them in the process.  

Unique works with the majority of fines free libraries and over 1800+ library systems worldwide to ensure long overdue items are returned using our trademarked gentle nudge approach, refined over our 25+ year history. We get library patrons and staff and are committed to bringing patrons back in the library after returning items falls off their radar and accounts are blocked.  

What changes have we seen for libraries that transitioned to a fines free approach? 

  • The number of accounts referred to Unique typically remain similar – Libraries transitioning to a fines free process typically see about the same amount of accounts coming to Unique as before going fines free 
  • Account balances will increase – Patron balances typically increase even though fines are removed. As patrons check out more materials the typical billing per account increases.  
  • Balances waived will decrease – As patron balances change from fines to materials, staff’s ability to waive balances will reduce for most libraries. It’s easy for accounting to write off a fine, and a harder “sell” to write off material.  
  • Material Recovery performance will increase – The value of materials brought back through the Material Recovery process will increase. A better return means more patrons back in good standing and a more efficient service. 

See how we can help by contacting today for a no commitment consultation on how Unique can help ensure patron goodwill through all of your policies, fined or not.