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Fine-Free Cards for Children & Reduced Fines for Teens

Beginning September 1st, we will be providing fine-free library cards to children, 12 years and under, and clearing fines on existing cards for children so families will have a fresh start. As well, library cards for teens, 13 to 18 years, will have overdue fines reduced, and staff will work with teens to help clear existing fines on their cards.

For many families, the worry over accumulating late fees for overdue items can be a barrier to borrowing essential resources, using Library technology, or even visiting a Library. We want every child to have a library card and to be able to access the books, music, information and technology needed for discovering and learning.

Fine-free cards for children 12 years and under and reduced fines for teens are your Library’s latest commitment to working to reduce poverty by removing barriers for children and families. In its 2016 report, London for All, a Roadmap to End Poverty, the Mayor’s Poverty Task Force, identifies poverty as a significant community issue. This initiative is part of our commitment to removing barriers to access for everyone in our community, a key strategic priority identified in the User First philosophy of London Public Library’s current Strategic Plan, Library Space is Community Place.

The Details:

  • Library cards for children, 12 years and under, will not have overdue fines, and existing fines will be cleared.
  • Children’s materials borrowed using an adult card will still be subject to fines.
  • Library Cards for Teens, 13 to 18 years, will have overdue fines reduced to the rate charged for Seniors.
  • Teens can work with staff to reduce existing fines.
  • Read Away Your Fines campaigns for Teens will continue.

We encourage families to come in to any library location to obtain fine-free cards for their children and to have our staff clear existing fines on children’s cards. We also want to work with teens to help them clear existing fines on their cards.


Children and youth fines

I really think this is a great idea, for a short time. If done say every three months for two weeks. That way children do learn to treat library materials responsibly. Most materials are read within 21 days but its hard to teach young children a system, put library books and video in a certain place, and return them when you are done, and get another. I have paid some huge fines, because we couldn't find the discs or smaller books when my child was younger. He has developed a routine now and we rarely misplace materials and things are returned on time.


Thank you

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and your own experiences as a parent borrowing library materials.

Fine-Free Cards for Children & Reduced Fines for Teens

I don't think this is a good idea. I think children and teens need to learn responsibility and this is a good way to learn it, to be responsible to return your library books on time. Parents can help them do this. This seems to be an incentive to keep books out as long as you like and return them whenever. What if there are holds on the books so that others wanting to read the book are forced to wait forever while someone has it out as long as they want? Not being able to renew a book because someone else wants to read it would help them learn to share and read and return the book in a timely manner.

Your feedback

We appreciate your feedback about the change to late charges for children and teens and will share your thoughts with our senior staff.  Reminder notices will still be used to encourage the return of late materials and replacement charges for materials that are not returned will still be in effect.

Fines for kids

Although the fines should not be excessive I think the children should still be fined for not returning material on time.  This helps them to learn to respect their books and the library itself .  Charging fines should not cause them a financial burden because the onus is on them & their parents to retun the material in the proper time frame. If they return the material then there would be no fines!


Fines for Kids

We certainly understand your perspective.  For many families in our community,  fines are a barrier to borrowing the Library's materials and to coming to visit the Library.  This change is designed to make it easier for children and youth in our community to read and to learn.  Families will still be expected to return materials and there are charges if materials are not returned.

Fine-free cards for kiddos is

Fine-free cards for kiddos is a great idea! We take home so many books each week it will be wonderful to return them without worry of fines.

Happy you'll keep borrowing lots of books!

It is great to hear that this change will help your family to borrow and read lots of books.  Thanks for your feedback.

Cost of fines - daily rates maximums not disclosed on website

Why isn't the cost of fines detailed on your web page.  

I can no longer find the cost of fines or what the maximum per item is. 



Late Charges on Website

We appreciate this feedback and later this month will be providing more detailed information about late charges on our website.

Amazing news!

Thank you for this change to children's cards! In our family the adults have a library card and the children each have their own. We often are late in returning the children's books by a few days. They often take 20 books at a time, so a few days late on each of those books adds up to several dollars. These fees would discourage us from using the library. This new policy will help families enjoy the library books at home for as long as they need!


Thank you for thinking of families and making this change!


Helping Make the Library More Accessible

We are happy to hear that Fine Free Children's Cards will have a positive impact on your family.  Thank you for sharing! We know that for many families, fines can be a barrier to borrowing the Library's materials or coming to visit the Library. and hope this makes it easier for children and youth to read and to learn.

That is not good. What

That is not good. What message would that send to the children? That it is ok to comply to due dates because there is no consequence? I can see some families abusing the system and keep books and materials for a long time (forever?). Some adults can abuse the system by using children's card to borrow their own materials. This is taking away incentives for other families to use the lib.

Providing access to books and materials for children and youth

The Library’s work on reducing financial barriers for children and teens recognizes that poverty is a significant community issue in London. Those who need us the most, such as young students and early learners, are often the ones who cannot access our resources and services and whose families do not have the means to purchase books, resources and technology. The Library has a role in helping each child in the City of London to reach their full potential by providing access to books, resources and technology.

For many families, the worry over late fees can be a barrier to accessing the Library’s resources, services and even to visiting the library and using our space.

Note that while Children's cards are fine free and for use by children, items not returned to the Library will continue to follow our regular billing process. Parents/guardians are still responsible for items not returned and will be expected to return or pay for these items.


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