Overdue, Lost and Damaged Policies

Patrons are responsible for returning materials on time without notification.  Patrons will be informed of due dates when items are checked out. Patrons may receive a notice via US postal service or email when materials are overdue. After being overdue 4 weeks, materials may be considered lost, and the patron will be assessed replacement costs.


  1. Fines

The Black Earth Public Library does not charge fines for overdue materials, with exceptions made for certain item types (see Appendix).


  1. Lost or Damaged Items

Lost or damaged items will be assessed a replacement fee equal to the current replacement price of the item. Items will be declared lost after being overdue 4 weeks, and the patron will be assessed the replacement cost.

If materials are damaged so as to be judged by the Library as unsuitable for the collection, the patron will be charged for the replacement cost. A notice of these charges will be sent to the patron (see Appendix).

Interlibrary loan materials are subject to the replacement policies of the Lending Library.

Library privileges are suspended when accumulated fees reach $20.00. This policy applies to all fines, including overdue fines assessed at other libraries, lost item charges, and damaged item charges. The Library privileges that are suspended include checking out Library materials as well as using the Internet computer(s).

If a patron is unable to pay their whole account balance at once but still wishes to use their library account, the patron may enter into a payment agreement in which some of the balance is paid, and the rest is paid at a later date. A patron must be approved for a payment agreement by the Circulation Manager or the Library Director.

Only in extreme cases, if the patron does not respond, does not return overdue materials, and/or does not pay their fees, the matter will be turned over to the Police Department for further proceedings according to Wisconsin Statutes, Section 943.61. If overdue items are returned to the Library as a result of police action, Library staff shall notify the Police Department as soon as possible after the return of the items.

When a patron has paid for a lost or damaged item, they may keep said item(s) once it is removed from the Library catalog. Damaged items that are paid for within one year, will be given to the patron after payment has been received if they would like to keep the damaged item.  However after one year, it is the policy of the Black Earth Library that damaged items that still have not been paid for will be discarded.  Therefore, if more than one year has passed, patrons will not receive the damaged item once it has been paid for.  A note to indicate that the item has been discarded will also be placed in the patron’s record.


C.  Damage to Media Players

The library assumes no responsibility for damage or alleged damage to a borrower’s tape player, CD player, VCR, DVD player, MP3 player, computer or car stereo system by library materials.


D. Refunds

Refunds are available for 6 months after the date of payment.


         Adopted by the Black Earth Public Library

         Board of Trustees

   June 22, 1999


7-21-04, 8-17-09, 7-21-10, 4-21-21, 6-16-21