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Fees for Lost and Damaged Materials

Overdue Notifications | Paying Fees | FAQs

As of November 1, 2020, the Library District no longer charges daily fines for overdue or late returns on Library items. All checked out items do still have a due date and must be returned once the checkout period has expired and all renewals have been used.

When an item becomes 21 days overdue it is considered "lost/missing". Replacement and processing fees for lost or damaged items still apply.


Due Date & Overdue Notification

Knowing when your library items are due is your responsibility. To help you keep track of item due dates, the library sends the following notices:

Day Before item due Reminder email is sent
Day After item due Reminder email is sent
Week (7 days) overdue Reminder email is sent; if there is no email connected with your account, notification is mailed via USPS to your address
2 Weeks (14 days) overdue Final notification is mailed via USPS to your address
3 Weeks (21 days) overdue Item is considered "lost/missing" and the amount for replacing the item is billed to your library account
4 Weeks (28 days) overdue Accounts with a fee balance of $50 or more are turned over to an outside agency for collection and assessed a $10 processing fee

Be aware that non-receipt of these notices does not release you from your responsibility to return materials on time. It is your responsibility to let us know when your mailing address, telephone number or email address has changed. You must have valid contact information in your library account in order to receive courtesy notices.

To update your email address, call 970-221-6740 or log on to your account. Library accounts with items that become four weeks overdue may be sent to a collection agency.

It's important to note that while the District has always sent reminder notifications before billing an account and has used the services of a collection agency to recover items or funds, we do not report to credit bureaus, so it does not affect credit scores or credit reports.


Lost and Damaged Items

When library items become three weeks overdue, it is considered "lost/missing" and the item is billed to your account. This fee must be paid if the item has been lost. If the item is returned in good condition and can be returned to the circulating collection, the replacement fee is waived from your account.

The Library does not accept replacement items in exchange for any lost/missing materials or refund the replacement fee should you locate the material at a later date.


Paying Fees & Blocks on Your Card

Fees can be paid via check at a Customer Service Desk or via My Account with a credit card or debit card. The District does not accept cash payments.

Lost materials item cost + a $10.00 processing fee
Damaged materials up to item cost + a $10.00 processing fee

Once fees reach $50.00 your library card is blocked from use. Excessively late accounts may be turned over to a collection agency. The Library District does not accept replacements for lost or damaged items.


Refunds

If you pay for a lost item and then find it and return it to a Library Service Desk within 60 days, the Library will refund you the full amount you paid for the item. To receive a refund the item must be in good enough condition to return to the Library's circulating collection. Refunds will be issued by check within two weeks from the date of the original. The Library District does not offer cash refunds.

Refunds for returned lost items that were paid with check or credit card can be done at any District library Customer Service Desk during open hours.

The Library does not offer refunds for processing fees, collection agency fees, or copies.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please return them to the library. You will not be charged any overdue fines.

No. Items that are lost, returned with damaged or missing parts, or otherwise are not returned in the same condition as when they were checked out will be billed accordingly. This includes processing fees.

Those are included in fines-free, too. There are no overdue fines for items loaned through Prospector, Mobius, or our interlibrary loan service. Fees for lost and damaged materials still apply. In some cases, you are also charged a mailing or handling fee just as previously.

There are several ways to pay fees:

  • Pay online through our website.
  • Pay with a check which can be dropped off at any of the libraries or at the Webster House Administration Center.
  • Mail a check to the Administration Center at 301 East Olive St., Fort Collins, CO 80524.
  • Call the Answer Center at 970-221-6740.
  • No cash will be accepted.

Not exactly. While you won't be fined for keeping an item beyond it's due date, remember that other people are waiting to enjoy and use the item. Also, after 21 days being overdue, the item is considered "lost" and you will be billed for the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee.

If you need to hold on to a book, DVD, or other material beyond the original due date, we encourage you to renew the item(s) online or by calling the Answer Center (970-221-6740).

Yes. We will continue to send reminders when your due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. To ensure that you receive these notices, please check that your email address is current in your account. If you'd like to receive text alerts, please opt in to our text service.

The Library will issue reminders (through email or text message) when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. If an item is 21 days overdue, we will consider the item "lost" and the Library will need to charge your account for the item's replacement cost plus a processing fee. Your Library account will be blocked when you accrue $50 in fees for lost or damaged items.

Read more about the Library's borrowing timeline online.

It's important to note that while the District has always had sent reminder notifications before billing an account and has used the services of a collection agency to recover items or funds, we do not report to credit bureaus, so it does not affect credit scores or credit reports.

Yes! Our goal is to get our materials back so that they can be enjoyed and checked out by more customers. Once the "lost" materials have been returned, any replacement fees affiliated with them will be removed from your account. If you already paid for your "lost" materials and then return them to us, we will reimburse you for the cost with a check (we do not have cash on hand in our libraries).

Actually, several other libraries that have eliminated late fees have found that their on-time returns go up! Library cardholders understand that it is their duty to return materials so that others in the community can use them.

However, to help further incentivize people to return their materials on time, the Library has updated its lending timeline and increased overdue notifications. After an item is 21 days overdue, the Library considers the item "lost" and bills the customer account for the replacement cost of the item. After 28 days overdue, the customer account may be turned over to a collections agency. The Library continues to collect fees for lost and damaged materials.

While late returns are a reality facing every library community, none of our fellow public libraries which have eliminated overdue fines have experienced increases in late returns, longer hold times, or gaps in the collection. We anticipate the same outcome for our community!

The Library's collection budget is a percentage of the overall budget and won't be effected by the change.

Library fines are a decreasing part of the overall budget. In 2019, overdue fines made up less than 1% of Library General Fund revenue and there is also a collection cost in terms of staff time, keeping cash on hand, banking and accounting. Due to the growing popularity of digital materials and the past elimination of children's and teen materials fines, library revenue from overdue fines has been steadily declining in recent years.



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Poudre River Public Library District, 301 E. Olive Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524, (970) 221-6740
Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus