Georgia's First Fines Free Library

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The Chattahoochee Valley Libraries is Now Fines Free

As of August 15, 2019, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries (CVL) proudly became the trailblazer in Georgia, being the first library in the state to eliminate overdue fines. We believe in creating an inclusive and accessible environment for all our patrons.

What Has Changed?

  • No More Daily Late Fines: Bid farewell to daily late fines for items kept past their due date.

  • Auto-Renewal Policy: Enjoy the convenience of our auto-renewal policy, effective since May 2019. Eligible items will be automatically renewed for up to four checkout periods.

  • Responsibility for Lost Items: Patrons are still responsible for the replacement cost of lost items.

  • Collection Agency Fee: Accounts sent to a collection agency will incur a $15.00 fee.

Why the Change?

CVL joins a growing number of libraries nationwide eliminating overdue fees. Research indicates that fines act as a barrier to library use, particularly for those with lower incomes. We aim to break down these barriers and make our services more accessible to everyone.

Facts About Overdue Fines:

  • Not a Deterrent: Studies show that overdue fines do not deter patrons from returning items late.

  • Positive Impact: Communities that have eliminated fines experience increased library use, leading to positive community impacts, including greater employment opportunities.

  • Minimal Revenue, Maximum Impact: The revenue generated by fines is less than 1% of CVL's operating budget. The positive community impacts far outweigh the minimal financial contribution.

Join Us in Embracing the Future of Libraries

By eliminating fines, CVL is committed to enhancing library services and fostering a community where everyone can benefit from the wealth of resources and programs we offer. Together, let's make the library an even more welcoming and enriching space for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are eliminating the overdue fees and processing fees on August 15, 2019, and these will be removed from your account. As is with current policy, if items have not been returned and they are more than 42 days overdue, you will be responsible to pay the replacement cost. If you find the items, you can return them at any time and your account will be cleared.

If items are no longer eligible for auto-renewal they must be returned by their due date. Any items kept past this date will be considered overdue and a block will be placed on the account. This means additional items may not be checked out and library computer use will not be available until the items are returned or replaced.

CVL now auto-renews all print items, DVDs/CDs, and Audiobooks on CD that are checked out. This means that if an item is eligible for renewal and no other patron has requested the item, it will be automatically renewed for an additional loan period (2 weeks for books, 1 week for DVDs and CDs). Auto-renewal does not apply to Education Kits, Attraction Passes, Launchpads, or items available electronically via (including Overdrive, Hoopla, and RB Digital books and magazines). It also does not include materials checked out from our automated 24-Hour Libraries in Midland and Double Churches.

These items will automatically return to the libraries on their due date; there’s no need for any additional action on your part. As they automatically return they are not subject to overdue or lost fees or replacement cost.

This is the actual cost to the library to replace the item with a similar copy to the item lost. For instance, a hardback edition of a novel will need to be replaced with another hardback edition. This replacement cost will be indicated on the patron account once the item is determined to be lost.

Items that are more than 42 days overdue will be marked as lost and the patron will be sent a bill for the replacement cost. This can be paid by mail, at any branch of CVL, or with a credit card online at

YES! You may return the items at any time before paying the replacement cost. They will be cleared from your account and, if no other items are overdue, your account will be taken off of blocked status.

We will refund the replacement cost if the items are returned within 6 months of the payment.

After items are overdue 42 days, a bill for the replacement cost will be sent to the patron’s address. In addition, attempts will be made to contact the patron by e-mail or phone. If the account balance remains above $25.00 28 days after the bill is sent, the account will be referred to a collection agency that specializes in Library Asset Recovery. This agency does not report accounts to credit reporting bureaus. Accounts sent to a collection agency will be responsible for a $15.00 collection fee plus payment on the account balance.