Eastern Oklahoma libraries eliminate overdue fines


WESTVILLE, Okla. (KNWA) — The Eastern Oklahoma District Library System’s Board of Trustees decided to eliminate overdue fines for late returns of all library materials and equipment. 

The Board joins many libraries across the country that have decided overdue fines don’t pay off.

John F. Henderson is the first in the state of Oklahoma.

Studies show that library fines do not ensure borrowers bring back items any more than does a gentle reminder.

The libraries in the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System decided it was time to close the book on fines.

A new system will be put in place to send texts letting borrowers know that an item is soon due. Text and e-mail reminders will also be sent if they have kept an item too long.

No overdue fines will be charged but, if an item is kept for a month, it will be considered lost and a replacement cost for the item will be charged to the patron.

This charge will be waived if the library item is returned in good, usable condition.

The change will go into effect on March 1, 2020, and borrowers are encouraged to call their local Eastern Oklahoma Library to discuss their accounts. 

The Board also voted to give every borrower a clean slate. All previously lost fees and overdue charges will be waived as well.    

Eastern Oklahoma Library System is a six-county library system with library branches in the towns of Westville, Stilwell, Grove, Jay, Kansas, Sallisaw, Muldrow, Tahlequah, Hulbert, Muskogee, Ft. Gibson, Warner, Haskell, Checotah, and Eufala.

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