Cook Memorial Library permanently going fine free

Updated 2/1/2021 12:38 PM

After a 10-month period of temporarily not assessing overdue fines, the Cook Memorial Public Library District Board of Trustees has decided to make this feature permanent.

At its Jan. 19 board meeting, trustees of the Libertyville/Vernon Hills-based library voted to eliminate overdue fines on all items, with the exception of digital equipment, effective April 1. The current temporary fine-free period will continue until that time. Additionally, all existing overdue charges on patron accounts will be waived.


A resolution passed by trustees states that overdue fines pose an economic barrier to access of library materials, especially to individuals with lower incomes.

The resolution also states that overdue fines represent a very small percentage of revenue and that library operations would be unaffected by its elimination. Library Director David Archer noted that due dates will still apply for all library items and that patrons will be unable to check out additional materials until long overdue items are returned.

Cook Memorial joins a growing number of libraries that have gone fine free, including nearly a dozen in Lake County alone. The fine-free libraries have all reported success with library material returns and an overall feeling of goodwill from patrons.

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