Fine Free MLN

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The Metro Library Network, made up of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion public libraries, is proud to announce that the three libraries in the network will eliminate overdue fines on library materials effective immediately.

“The mission of our libraries is to provide equal and universal access to information for all of our citizens,” said Dara Schmidt, Cedar Rapids Public Library Director. “By removing fines we are making it easy and equitable for all of our citizens to access our library resources.”

Currently, more than 16,500 library patrons have library privileges blocked due to overdue fines. Now there will be no fee as long as an item is returned. Cardholders who were prohibited from checking out materials due to unpaid fines will once again be able to check out materials. Fees will still be assessed if an item is not returned to the library after 30 days. Reminders will be sent to help enforce due dates.

“Library fines count for a small portion of the library budget each year but they prevent thousands of people from accessing valuable resources,” said Schmidt. “Our boards are all committed to policies that keep access to our libraries open to all.”

The Metro Library Network is not the first library consortium in the nation or even the state of Iowa to eliminate fines. Local libraries including Ely Public Library and Dubuque Public Library have already eliminated fines, and the Iowa City Public Library eliminated fines on young adult materials in 2019.

Questions about individual library accounts should be directed to your library.