In May of 2022, the Library Board of Trustees and League City City Council voted unanimously to make Helen Hall Library “fine free”! The majority of Galveston County libraries and a great many libraries across the state and nation have eliminated late fines in the last several years. The goal is to encourage patrons to return their materials without any shame, and to visit the library knowing they will have access.
The Helen Hall Library checkout policies are now more clear and straightforward. If your checkouts are late, you won’t be fined until they are 30 days late but then you will be charged for the price of each item. If you bring back all your late items, your account will be clear!
The library administration’s thorough study found libraries without fines reported higher returns on overdue materials and a drop in late returns. Revenues from fines at Helen Hall Library have decreased in recent years. Patron behaviors have changed and more than ever before users are checking out digital content which do not have late fines.
In removing late fines, we wanted to even the playing field. All checkouts are three weeks long, including entertainment movies. Our Very Important Patrons (borrowers over 65 years of age) still have four weeks with the majority of the collection.
Ultimately, we want YOU to come back, and we want you to bring back those books and movies!