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Your Library is now Fine Free!

On November 26, 2020, London Public Library marked 125 years of dedicated library service to our community and celebrated by permanently ending the practice of charging overdue fines!

We believe that each and every member of our community should be able to use the Library freely and fully, with dignity and without fear of overdue fines, regardless of their financial status. We felt that there was no better way to honour London Public Library’s past than to clear the path for thousands of Londoners to come back to their Library without the barrier of overdue fines.

The Details

Effective immediately, all outstanding overdue fines have been removed from all Library accounts and overdue fines will no longer be charged when items are returned. We understand that sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t want overdue fines to keep you from using all the great Library resources available to you and your family.

You still need to return your Library items as soon as you can so that others may use them. Library collections are a resource that we share as a community. If Library items are not returned after a period of time or are lost or damaged, replacement charges will still apply. We will continue to send reminder notifications about due dates and have introduced automatic renewals to make it easier for you to manage your Library items and account.

Further details can be found on our Borrowing page.

We’re here to help. Feel free to call or email so we can help you get back to using your Library! See what services are currently available at your library here.

(519) 661-4600

Celebrate a New Beginning

If you’re feeling inspired by this fundamental change to library service, we’d ask you to consider “paying it forward” by making a donation to our New Beginning campaign. Your gift, no matter how small, will help us remove barriers and increase access to valuable Library resources, programs and services at this challenging time for so many in our community.

Donate Today

On September 24, 2020, the London Public Library Board unanimously approved a recommendation to the Library’s Lending Services Policy that eliminates overdue fine charges for library materials and waives all overdue fines currently owed.

Many libraries in Canada and the United States have gone or will be going fine free. At their core, public libraries are advocates and instruments for the removal of barriers to knowledge, learning and literacy through the services they offer. However, there is now the recognition that libraries themselves have created a long-standing barrier to library services in the form of overdue fines.

In London right now, there are more than 10,000 members of our community that are not able to borrow or use Library resources because of fines owing on their Library accounts. When we look closer, we see that this disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable neighbourhoods and community members.

From a financial perspective, overdue fines were a sustainable source of additional operating revenue, but that is no longer the case, due to the growth of digital collections use and the resulting revenue potential decreases. Additionally, it is estimated that the collection of fine payments by staff is a net loss.

Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines have continued to see Library items consistently returned and have also seen an increase in borrowing. There are many people who are hesitant to visit the Library due to the fear of fines. Eliminating overdue fines helps ensure that all members of our community can access the resources, services and collections available to them at their Library.