Elkhart Lake Public Library is now Fine Free!

Elkhart Lake Public Library to adopt fine free policy

The Elkhart Lake Public Library is proud to announce that the Library Board has adopted a fine free policy. As of March 1, 2020, the library will no longer charge fines for library items returned late. The Elkhart Lake Public Library joins two other Sheboygan County libraries, Sheboygan Falls Public Library and Kohler Public Library, that have been successfully fine free for many years.

Why fine free and why now? The public library fine free movement has been sweeping the nation. The American Library Association (ALA) passed a resolution in 2019 to urge public libraries to eliminate fines because fines can create barriers for people who need the service the most. The vulnerable populations often include people in low income situations, the elderly on fixed income, youth and minorities. Research has shown that the rate of return of library materials remain approximately the same whether fines are charged or not.

The Elkhart Lake Public Library has been moving towards the elimination of fines by expanding the grace period to all library materials, offering text and email reminders, lengthening the loan period of TV series DVDs, Audiobooks and new children’s books. Over the last five years, we have reduced fines by almost 45%. Our budget has not been dependent on the revenue from fines and we feel this is a good time to go ahead and eliminate all overdue fines. We have waived all accrued Elkhart Lake Public Library overdue fines. We are not able to waive fines charged by other libraries in the system. Charges for replacement costs and processing fees are still in force.

There is a concern that going fine free would stop people from returning books on time. Libraries that have adopted the practice, however, have not reported any issues with books being returned later than normal. With a fine free policy, patrons that don’t return on time may be blocked from checking out additional materials until the late materials are returned. We will continue to bill for items that are never returned or for items that are returned damaged. Non-return of library materials is considered theft according to the Wisconsin statutes (Wis. Stat. 943.61) and sometimes we do request assistance from the Elkhart Lake Police Department.

Patrons with accounts in arrears due to lost or damaged books who would like to use the library, we would like to work with you. Please contact us.

For further information please contact Betty McCartney, Library Director at 920-876-2554 or by email to elcirc@monarchlibraries.org

Fine Free FAQs

Learn a new Language!

Transparent Language Online provides a fun, effective, and engaging experience for learners of all levels looking to build their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a foreign language. 

» Read more

Nintendo Switch Games

We are adding Nintendo Switch games to our collection. A Nintendo Switch console will be available for in-library use only. Patrons under the age of 18 will need parent permission to borrow these materials.

Book Club on the MOVE!

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.

Friday, March 13 at 1pm
Please call for location of meeting 920-876-2554

David Sheff will be speaking at Horace Mann Middle School, April 22 from 6:30 to 8:30.

1000 Books before Kindergarten

1000 Books before Kindergarten is a program that challenges you to read 1000 books with your child before he or she enters school. Studies show that reading aloud to children helps them to develop important pre-reading skills. Sharing books every day helps develop a solid reading foundation – a key to school and learning success. Plus, reading together is fun! This programs end date is your child’s entrance into Kindergarten, so there is no need to rush! Enjoy the experience! Take every chance you have to read with your child. Talk about stories, share nursery rhymes, sing songs and attend library programs. By reading just 3 stories a day, you and your child will have read over 1000 books in one year. You will also have shared many special moments along the way!

Get started by using the free 1000 Books before Kindergarten or register at the library and receive a paper reading record to keep track of the number of books read. You child receives a small incentive at each 100 milestone. At 1000 books the child receives $50 and a trophy, has his/her name on our Star Wall of Fame, has his/her picture in the Depot Dispatch, if interested.

A free app that makes keeping track of your child’s reading both easy and fun! Scan, search for, or manually add a book to your child’s Book List. Unlock achievements, goals and prizes. Manage lists for up to 5 readers in one account. Get early literacy tips each time you open the app. Spanish language version available. Download on the Apple App Store or get it on Google Play

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