Putnam District Library

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Fine Thresholds and Related Policies

Library account procedures
Fine Thresholds
  • If a patron's overdue fines total $5 or above—or if the total fines on accounts that share a responsible adult comes to that amount—then that account, and all accounts linked to it by a responsible adult, will be blocked until the fines are under $5.
  • If a patron’s fines are at or above $10—or if the total fines on accounts that share a responsible adult comes to that amount—then a bill for the amount due will be sent.
  • No checkouts or Internet use will be allowed on any blocked accounts.


Lost or Damaged Library Materials
Damage to library materials consists of, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:  torn pages, marks on materials, water damage, heat damage, “a dog ate my library book” damage or any other type of damage that deems the material unsuitable for circulation.  This will at the discretion of the director.

Typically, lost or damaged materials are replaced in one of two ways.  First, the patron may pay the replacement cost for the item.  Second, the patron can purchase a quality replacement copy for the item, if prior arrangements have been made with the director.  Lost and damaged items should be reported as soon as possible.

Once a replacement fee has been paid, no refunds shall be given for items found at a later date.


Overdue Procedures
When items reach overdue status, staff members will do a shelf check for the item(s).  If it is found on the shelf, it will be checked in and associated fines deleted. If the item is not located during the shelf check, the patron will be notified.  A shelf check will be repeated at each stage of the overdue process.

Patrons, with updated account information, will be notified 3 times regarding an overdue item.  This may be by phone, text, email, and/or letter depending on the patron's preferences and the stage of the overdue item(s).

When an item has been overdue for a minimum of 90 days, it is marked lost/destroyed in the library's catalog.  At this time, associated overdue fines are deleted and the replacement cost of the item is charged to the patron’s account.  Should the item be returned at some point after the 90 day overdue mark, the charge of the item will be reversed and the fine will be restored to the amount owed for days overdue or the max fine of $20.00.


Claims Lost Materials
A claim lost is when a patron has received an overdue notice and is claiming he or she returned the materials.  A claim cannot be made over the phone.  A claim form must be filled out completely and turned in for review by the director.

  1. The first claim will be accepted and kept on file; the patron will be still considered active and in good standing.
  2. Should a second claim be filed, the director will review both claims and decide the standing of the patron and their borrowing status.
  3. Upon a third claim, the library board will review all outstanding claims; the board will decide the standing of the patron and their borrowing status.