Palatine library drops fines, joins forces with other libraries
Patrons of the Palatine Public Library District will no longer have to pay fines and will have access to a catalog of 5 million items shared across more than two dozen libraries starting Sept. 9.
Palatine is joining the Cooperative Computer Services consortium of 28 libraries in the north suburbs, including Algonquin, Evanston, Grayslake, Prospect Heights and more. Palatine is the largest among them, spokeswoman Andrea Lublink said.
"Several of our staff have worked at other libraries that belonged to a consortium and expressed how great it was to have more access to materials from different libraries," Lublink said. "Moving to CCS is a good decision for our community."
Patrons will be able to request, pick up and return items at any library within the consortium. They also will have easy access to services from their mobile devices with a choice of notifications by email, phone and text message.
The research into whether to join a consortium started about a year ago, Lublink said. Reaching Across Illinois Library System awarded the Palatine library a $45,965 grant to help offset one-time costs associated with joining the consortium.
The library warned that ahead of the transition, some services will not be available Friday to Tuesday including accessing accounts and placing holds and renewals. Checked out items will not be due during this time.
Also starting Sept. 9, items checked out at Palatine library district locations that are returned late will not accrue overdue fines, although patrons will be billed for lost or damaged items.
Many libraries within the consortium are fine-free, so it made sense to do the same, Lublink said.
"The revenue from overdue fines was not very significant to our budget and we knew we could continue to offer the same level of service without those funds," she said. "We do realize that some members that have larger fines are not able to continue to use their library cards and access all our services. By eliminating fines, we remove those barriers that may prevent people from coming back."
The library district includes the main library, 700 N. North Court in Palatine, and branches at 3600 Lexington Drive in Hoffman Estates and 1585 Rand Road in Palatine. The district serves about 90,000 residents. Visit palatinelibrary.org for more information.