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Fine-Free Cards for Children and Reduced Fines for Teens

Beginning September 1st, we will be providing fine-free library cards to children, 12 years and under, and clearing fines on existing cards for children so families will have a fresh start. As well, library cards for teens, 13 to 18 years, will have overdue fines reduced, and staff will work with teens to help clear existing fines on their cards.


For many families, the worry over accumulating late fees for overdue items can be a barrier to borrowing essential resources, using Library technology, or even visiting a Library. We want every child to have a library card and to be able to access the books, music, information and technology needed for discovering and learning.


Fine-free cards for children 12 years and under and reduced fines for teens are your Library’s latest commitment to working to reduce poverty by removing barriers for children and families. In its 2016 report, London for All, a Roadmap to End Poverty, the Mayor’s Poverty Task Force, identifies poverty as a significant community issue. This initiative is part of our commitment to removing barriers to access for everyone in our community, a key strategic priority identified in the User First philosophy of London Public Library’s current Strategic Plan, Library Space is Community Place.


The Details:

  • Library cards for children, 12 years and under, will not have overdue fines, and existing fines will be cleared.
  • Children’s materials borrowed using an adult card will still be subject to fines.
  • Library Cards for Teens, 13 to 18 years, will have overdue fines reduced to the rate charged for Seniors.
  • Teens can work with staff to reduce existing fines.
  • Read Away Your Fines campaigns for Teens will continue.


We encourage families to come in to any library location to obtain fine-free cards for their children and to have our staff clear existing fines on children’s cards. We also want to work with teens to help them clear existing fines on their cards.


Fine-free cards for kiddos is

Fine-free cards for kiddos is a great idea! We take home so many books each week it will be wonderful to return them without worry of fines.

Happy you'll keep borrowing lots of books!

It is great to hear that this change will help your family to borrow and read lots of books.  Thanks for your feedback.

Cost of fines - daily rates maximums not disclosed on website

Why isn't the cost of fines detailed on your web page.  

I can no longer find the cost of fines or what the maximum per item is. 



Late Charges on Website

We appreciate this feedback and later this month will be providing more detailed information about late charges on our website.

Amazing news!

Thank you for this change to children's cards! In our family the adults have a library card and the children each have their own. We often are late in returning the children's books by a few days. They often take 20 books at a time, so a few days late on each of those books adds up to several dollars. These fees would discourage us from using the library. This new policy will help families enjoy the library books at home for as long as they need!


Thank you for thinking of families and making this change!


Helping Make the Library More Accessible

We are happy to hear that Fine Free Children's Cards will have a positive impact on your family.  Thank you for sharing! We know that for many families, fines can be a barrier to borrowing the Library's materials or coming to visit the Library. and hope this makes it easier for children and youth to read and to learn.

That is not good. What

That is not good. What message would that send to the children? That it is ok to comply to due dates because there is no consequence? I can see some families abusing the system and keep books and materials for a long time (forever?). Some adults can abuse the system by using children's card to borrow their own materials. This is taking away incentives for other families to use the lib.

Providing access to books and materials for children and youth

The Library’s work on reducing financial barriers for children and teens recognizes that poverty is a significant community issue in London. Those who need us the most, such as young students and early learners, are often the ones who cannot access our resources and services and whose families do not have the means to purchase books, resources and technology. The Library has a role in helping each child in the City of London to reach their full potential by providing access to books, resources and technology.

For many families, the worry over late fees can be a barrier to accessing the Library’s resources, services and even to visiting the library and using our space.

Note that while Children's cards are fine free and for use by children, items not returned to the Library will continue to follow our regular billing process. Parents/guardians are still responsible for items not returned and will be expected to return or pay for these items.


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