Fee and Fine Policy

Hennepin County Library Board Policy


This policy states the principles upon which fees and fines are established; advises the acceptable scope of library fees and fines; describes the roles and responsibilities for establishing and administering fees and fines.


Our overarching value is access to and stewardship of library resources:

  • Hennepin County Library serves the community as a whole and strives to make its limited collection and services freely accessible to all.
  • Patrons are responsible for the materials they borrow. When materials are returned late or are lost, they are no longer available for others.
  • The library is a publicly funded institution and will establish fees and fines only after a public hearing.

Scope and Application

Fines for overdue material are charged as an incentive for patrons to return materials on time. Patrons are responsible for the library materials checked out on their cards and are expected to return materials in a timely manner. All patrons are subject to overdue fines.

The Library Director may authorize some library programs or services (e.g. Outreach Services) to be exempt from overdue fines.

Fees may be established to help defray the costs associated with long overdue or lost material and support the provision of supplemental services (e.g. photocopying and room set-up services).

Circumstances may warrant staff to waive a patron’s fees and fines. Library staff will apply fee and fine waivers fairly and equitably according to established practices.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners bears the authority to establish library fees and fines.

The Library Director, as a part of the annual budget process, briefs the Library Board regarding any proposed fee and fine changes and advances to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners for approval.

The Library Services Division Manager (or designee) posts a library administrative policy that:

  • Establishes practices to collect and waive library fees and fines
  • Defines expectations for the timely resolution of disputes
  • Determines the necessary level of financial oversight and review.

Authorized fees and fines are posted on the public homepage. Library staff collect fees and fines, resolve disputes in a timely way, and work with patrons to restore borrowing and library use privileges.

Associated Policies and Laws


This policy is reviewed by the Library Director (or designee) every three years or more frequently as needed. Recommendations are advanced to the Library Board Program/Policy Committee who reviews, revises as necessary, endorses, and advances to the full Library Board for approval.

Policy History

Next Review Date: 2020
Last Reviewed/Revised Date: 6/25/2014
Date Adopted: 2017