Weather Forecast


Library Colum: New fines policy at the library

Tina Norris

The Hudson Area Public Library has adopted a new fines policy that includes a 21-day grace period for overdue materials. In other words, patrons won't face fees until an item is three weeks late. This policy applies to all regular items such as books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs. Please note that special collections, such as rental DVDs, lucky day books, and equipment are not included in this policy change and will continue to accrue fines. Any fines accrued prior to the new policies implementation will remain on your card and need to be paid.

It's still easy to renew materials. Patrons can renew materials two times (unless there are holds) either online or by calling the circulation desk. They can also return materials when we're closed by using the dropbox. As a courtesy to other patrons, we encourage you to renew items, and continue to return items on time, but we understand that sometimes life happens.

Our core mission is to encourage more use of library services, not less. Fines can build up, resulting in a "locked" library card that prevents families from checking out materials. We want to remove financial barriers that prevent patrons from using the library, and fines create a barrier to access, especially for low-income families. By adopting this new policy, the Hudson Area Public Library joins libraries across the country who have adopted similar policies to foster better community relationships, break down barriers to library use, and reduce negative experiences for members of the public.

Our new policy doesn't mean that there will be no consequences for not returning a library item; in fact, if an item is not returned prior to the end of the three-week grace period, then the item will be considered lost. Once an item is considered "lost" patrons will receive a bill for the replacement cost plus a $5 billing fee. If the item is returned undamaged, then the replacement cost will be credited back to the patron's account, but the patron will be responsible for paying the $5 billing fee.

Key points to remember:

• Our fines policy applies to materials borrowed at the Hudson Area Public Library, including items requested from other libraries for check out in Hudson.

• Books, audiobooks, and CDs have a 3-week loan period. Items without holds can still be renewed two times. Items returned after the 21-day grace period will be billed for the cost of the item and charged a $5 per item late fee. Replacement cost will be waived for billed items returned up to 30 days after the original 21-day grace period, but not the $5 late fee.

• DVDs and magazines have a 1-week loan period. The same terms as stated above apply to DVDs and magazines as well.

Fines still apply to the following items:

• Rental DVDs still have a three-day checkout, and the price remains at $1. Rental DVDs without a hold can be checked out again for another dollar, but they can't be renewed without payment. Late DVDs are fined $1 per item per day with a cap of $10 per item.

• Lucky Day items - a small selection of books that are highly circulated - will still have a 7-day check out and a fine of 50 cents per day per item with a cap of $10. There is no renewal for these high-demand items.

• Fine rates and loan periods for lawn games, book club kits, and other special collections have not changed.

If you have questions about the new policy or would like to work out a payment plan for prior fines owed, please ask staff at the circulation desk. We're happy to help you!

Upcoming events

T.A.B., Friday May 11, 4-5 p.m. New members welcome!

Community Supported Agriculture, Saturday May 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Join Megan Greeson from Sweet Top Farm for a discussion and presentation about CSA— its history in our region, what it is, its importance and how you can participate. Everyone welcome!

Maker Magic-CSI Investigation, Monday May 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. You'll collect evidence and learn to scientifically analyze it to solve the crime. Grades 4-8. Registration required.

Library Board Meeting, Tuesday May 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.

Homeschool STEAM-Oil Spill, Thursday May 17, 11 a.m. to noon. We'll simulate an oil spill and experiment with clean-up techniques. For tweens. Registration required.

FDIC's Money Smart for Small Business, Thursday May 17, 3-5 p.m. Is Owning a Small Business a Good Fit for You? Presented by Dr. Eric Biltonen, Community and Economic Development Educator with UW Extension.

Introduction to 3D Printing for Beginners, Thursday May 17, 2:30-3:30 p.m. In the iLab.

Construction Club, Thursday May 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Legos, K'Nex and more. Grades 3-6. Toddler Time, Tuesdays 10:15 a.m. Babies & Books, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:15 a.m. Stories for All (0-5), Wednesdays 11:15 a.m. Bookmarks Book Club, Wednesday May 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m. "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese.

Open Lab Time: Monday - Thursday noon to 7 p.m., Friday 11 a..m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11am to 2 p.m.

Tech Help: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday 4-5 p.m.

For all event details please visit our website,, or call the Library at 715-386-3101. See you at the Library!