The Cedar Rapids Public Library, along with the Hiawatha Public Library and the Marion Public Library, are officially fine free. Overdue fines have been removed from patrons account.
“The mission of our libraries is to provide equal and universal access to information for all of our citizens,” said Dara Schmidt, Cedar Rapids Public Library Director. “By removing fines we are making it easy and equitable for all of our citizens to access our library resources.”
Previously, more than 16,500 library patrons had library privileges blocked due to overdue fines. Now there are no fees as long as an item is returned. Cardholders who were prohibited from checking out materials due to unpaid fines are once again be able to check out materials. Fees are assessed if an item is not returned to the library after 30 days. Reminders will be sent to help enforce due dates.
“Library fines count for a small portion of the library budget each year but they prevent thousands of people from accessing valuable resources,” said Schmidt. “Our boards are all committed to policies that keep access to our libraries open to all.”
The Metro Library Network is not the first library consortium in the nation or even the state of Iowa to eliminate fines. Local libraries including Ely Public Library and Dubuque Public Library have already eliminated fines, and the Iowa City Public Library eliminated fines on young adult materials in 2019.
Questions about individual library accounts should be directed to your library.