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Whitewright Public Library

Fine Free Library

Now even more free!

The Whitewright Public Library has been striving to meet the needs of the community since its founding in 1967. Changing collections over the decades have seen books on tape and movies on VHS replaced by CDs, DVDs, and digital formats. Public computers were added in the 90s and are now supplemented by free public wifi.

The library’s policies have also changed over the years, with the most recent being the addition of automatic renewals, which reduced overdue fines for many users. We’re now taking the next step and eliminating fines completely, effective February 1st. This includes forgiving past fines. Now you can enjoy the same great library, without the fines!

While fines are going away, not all fees will be disappearing. We will still be charging for lost or damaged materials, interlibrary loans, and other services (such as copies and faxes).

Users will still have to return items if they can’t be renewed due to a waiting list, or at the end of the 6-week checkout period. Overdue items will block their account from further checkouts, automatic renewals, and digital resources. Essentially, if you don’t return items, your account and any connected accounts will be locked from further library access until cleared. This will also block access to the digital library and online databases.

Users have the option to receive notices about renewals, overdues, and reserves via text or email to avoid overdues. Those who have not selected the automatic notification option will still receive letters and phone calls regarding overdues only. Library staff highly recommends signing up for the automatic notification service.

Items that are vastly overdue may be pursued via the police department, as it is considered theft of City property. We don’t want to take this step, we just want our materials back, so we hope our fine free policy will encourage people to return them to share with their community.

We have seen many users over the years who have told staff they fear “a $100 fine” for returning an item late, so they just don’t return it. Fines have always been capped per item, but the thought of having a massive fine has kept many from returning to the library. That also means the items which are not returned require decisions on whether to replace it with our limited funds.

Fines have made up less than 1% of our income, and we’d much rather have people utilizing the library’s materials and services than to spend staff time trying to collect fines. However, we will still be focused on getting materials returned. If you ever have questions regarding your library account, please ask library staff for assistance at the desk, call 903-364-2955, or email