Fine Free Graphic

The Temiskaming Shores Public Library is excited to pilot a fine-free material return model that eliminates late fees on many categories of items. The new pilot program supports equitable service to the community by reducing barriers to library resources. While paying a small fine for a late item is affordable for some individuals, there are other residents on fixed incomes who may find this challenging. Outstanding fines can disproportionately affect some members of the community, who rely on library services to stay connected and informed.

From July 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024, library members with late books, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines, and puzzles may simply “bring it back” with no need to worry about overdue fines.

This pilot program directly supports the library board’s values of inclusion and accessibility. Studies have shown that fines do not actually deter people from returning items late, but can discourage people from using libraries for fear of fines.  Removing this barrier will help ensure equitable access to library collections, which are shared by all members of the community. Anyone wishing to continue to pay fines for late items may make a donation to the library at any time.

Despite the removal of fines on most library materials, fines will remain on less traditional library items such as wifi hotspots, park passes, pool passes, CO2 monitors, backpacks, walking poles, board games and outdoor games, snowshoes, and radon detectors. This is to recuperate some of the staff time spent tracking these more costly items down when they go overdue or missing.

The pilot program will still ensure that library members are motivated to return their items on time. Overdue accounts will be suspended and members will be unable to borrow additional material. When an item is 21 days overdue it will be considered lost and the borrower’s account will be charged for the replacement cost. To help ease the transition and ensure the timely return of materials, the library is increasing the frequency of automated account notification of due dates. Patrons should ensure they have their most updated email on file to receive the notifications.

For more information about the Fine-Free Pilot Program, please contact the library at 705-647-4215 or