Fines & Fees

When you've kept something for too long...

If the library is closed, you can still return items! Use the drop box located at the main entrance of the library (first floor, Bunting Center). 

Fines for Decker Items

We are no longer charging fines for the material we own! 

If an item is not returned within one month past its due date, it is considered lost. At that point, the borrower is charged the item's full replacement cost along with a $25.00 processing fee per item.

The library will also accept a new copy for all lost or damaged materials in lieu of the replacement cost.

Interlibrary Loan Fines and Fees

Materials borrowed from other libraries are subject to different constraints. Any fines or fees levied by the borrowing library will be passed on to the user. 

Why Decker No Longer Charges Fines

Not collecting overdue fines supports MICA’s DEI goals, is in alignment with the library’s mission, and underscores the Library’s commitment to DEI goals.

At its 2019 Midwinter Meeting in January, the American Library Association (ALA) passed a resolution calling monetary library fines “a form of social inequity” and urging libraries “to scrutinize their practices of imposing fines on library patrons and actively move towards eliminating them.”

Fines create an economic barrier to access information. Library users with limited income tend to stay away from libraries because they may be afraid of incurring debt. Once someone has a late fine, they are less likely to visit the library again.

Fines have not proven to change user behavior or their adherence to policies. Studies have shown that small fines have no impact on return rates.

Enoch Pratt Free Library went fine-free in 2018 as have many other libraries.