Fines and Fees Policy


Policy Statement:

Decatur Public Library (DPL) strives to maximize access to all library materials. DPL and its customers share a responsibility for the collection and as such, the library expects its customers to return borrowed materials on time and to treat them with care. To help ensure that materials are available for all, DPL charges fees for overdue, damaged and lost materials.

  1. DPL charges fees to all customers who return library material after the due date.
  2. DPL charges fees to all customers who damage or lose library material.
  3. DPL will notify all customers when they accrue a fee.  Customers may chose the method of notification
  4. Customers are required to provide DPL with accurate contact information when completing a library card application and to promptly update that information when necessary.
  5. DPL may use a second-party collection agency for those customers who do not promptly pay their fees.
  6. DPL does not refund fees paid for lost items.
  7. DPL will display the current fee schedule at the DPL and on its website.  The fee schedule is subject to change at the discretion of DPL.

Restriction on Library Privileges:

DPL will restrict the library privileges of customers who owe fees greater than the “fee threshold.”  The current threshold amount of $10 listed on the fee schedule.  The threshold is subject to change at the discretion of DPL.

Waiving Fees:

At its discretion, DPL may waive some fees for customers who have experienced extreme hardship such as long-term hospitalization, imprisonment, eviction, fire or theft.  It is the customer’s responsibility to provide valid supporting documentation verifying the hardship.


Fines accrue per item, per calendar day, except for days when the Decatur Public Library (DPL) is closed.

  • Replacement Card Fee $3
  • Returned Check Fee: $10
  • Collection Agency Fee: $10
  • Current Fines Threshold: $10

DPL suspends borrowing privileges when your fines or fees exceed the threshold of $10. You can restore your borrowing privileges once your account falls below the threshold.

Borrowers with unpaid balances of $25 or more for longer than 30 days may be contacted by a collection agency.  A collection fee is placed on accounts that reach this threshold.

Billed Items

Unreturned material is eventually “billed” to your account. You cannot place holds, renew material or check out new material until you resolve this.

You can return or pay for the billed material. If you return billed material, the amount you owe will reflect this and you will be assessed overdue fines instead.

Lost and Damaged Material

Customers who have lost or damaged library material will be charged the full amount of the library material.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on 11-21-2013