Greenwich Library explains new fine-free policy


Goodbye fines, hello library! Greenwich Library is pleased to announce that it will no longer be imposing penalties on patrons for late materials, effective September 12. This policy change will remove any financial burden that may have created a barrier to entry and is intended to increase access to library resources for Greenwich residents, students, and staff.

The Greenwich Library joins many other nationally recognized library systems that have eliminated fines in recent years, including public libraries in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and San Diego, as well as hundreds of smaller public libraries. This new mandate has an impact on the Greenwich Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches, as well as the Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich.

“We are proud to join this growing movement in making the library’s vast resources truly equitable,” says Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, director of the Greenwich Library. “We hope this
ad encourages everyone to make the library a regular part of their routine—
especially now that the peak of the pandemic has passed. We want to welcome everyone into our spaces.

Effective September 12, Greenwich Library will remove all fines from patron accounts, and
there will no longer be monetary penalties for the return of books, DVDs or other
items past due date; museum passes will still be subject to late fines. Please note that
although late returns no longer result in fines, customers will still be responsible for replacement
charges if an item is lost or damaged.

“The library is a public good, and we are honored to serve this community and provide as many resources and services as possible,” says Ormerod-Glynn. “But we also rely on our customers to respect our collection and their fellow community members who might want to borrow the same materials. We hope they will.

From September 12:
• All existing fines in readers’ accounts will be removed.
• Late payment fines will no longer accrue on borrowed items that are returned after their due date.

• Note: Replacement charges for lost or damaged items will still apply. Check the library’s website for full details.

Many studies have shown that the accumulation of fines on library accounts is one of the main reasons low-income families and individuals stop using public libraries. “This practice is inefficient and confusing to library users,” said Peggy Edersheim Kalb, Chair of the Greenwich Library Board. “This causes unnecessary anxiety and does not support the library’s core mission of being a portal to knowledge and resources for all.”

“We believe this new policy is the best course of action and we hope it will encourage everyone to use the library and all that we have to offer,” said Moira Danehy, Head of Circulation Services.

Danehy added that all former customers with inactive accounts are encouraged to inquire about the status of their accounts and can reactivate their cards in person or online.

The Greenwich Library recently underwent an $18 million renovation, which was mostly completed during the COVID-19 pandemic and closures. The reimagined space offers a large reading room on the first floor with much more natural light and more seating; new meeting rooms and private and group study rooms. Stacks have also been lowered in some areas to create more open space, and available outlets for charging computers and phones have been increased throughout the library, making it an ideal place for working and studying at home. distance.

Other large-scale additions include the new cafe on the ground floor of Greenwich Library, a partnership with Abilis, which offers breakfast and lunch options with indoor and outdoor seating. ‘outside. The new 288-seat Berkley Theater is now open to full capacity and has hosted conversations, performances and concerts since last fall. The theater features state-of-the-art audio and video capabilities, tiered seating, and an extended stage that can accommodate larger dance and ensemble performances.

Greenwich Library invites the community to visit the renovated spaces in the main library or sign up for a guided tour on Saturday mornings at 11:00 a.m.

For more information or questions regarding your account, contact Loan at [email protected]

The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. Greenwich Library’s mission is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to provide a welcoming place where people can come together and share their experiences. With 1,800 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as a cultural and intellectual hub for the community.

The Greenwich Library’s circulation is among the highest of Connecticut’s public libraries and has been named a five-star library by Library Journal for 11 of the past 12 years for high number of patron visits, circulation, use of public computers and the attendance of more than 2000 programs per year. The Greenwich Library is located at 101 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Cos Cob Library is located at 5 Sinawoy Road in Cos Cob. The Byram Shubert Library is located at 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich.

More information is available online at or by calling 203-622-7900.


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