Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Vaughan Public Libraries is pleased to announce that we are going fine-free.

finefree_message (1 page PDF)

Last evening the Vaughan Public Library Board made a monumental socially responsible
decision to eliminate overdue fines which are charged for the late return of library
materials. This means that no future overdue fines will be applied for the late return of
library materials and that all overdue fines currently on record will be forgiven.

Although fines have historically been standard practice for libraries, they do not align with
our mission to be inclusive and accessible for the entire community. In fact, our 2018 Customer
Satisfaction Survey showed that 1 in every 20 people agreed that fines kept them from borrowing
items. Over 5,500 customers currently have their borrowing access blocked because they have
outstanding fines, and over 3,000 of these accounts involve children’s items. That means that there
are more than 3,000 family households in Vaughan who have been denied access to borrowing
because of library policy.

“In making this decision, everything came down to one simple question: what do we value more – the
fines we collect or the customers we serve?” says Vaughan Public Library Board Chair, Rose Savage.
“Our mission is to create a welcoming and inclusive library system for all, and it’s clear that fines can
act as a barrier for accessibility within our community. By removing all fines and forgiving existing
balances we’re sending out a strong statement that we’re here for everyone, and always will be.”

The library plays a critical role in connecting people with the resources they need to advance their
career, study or improve their business. It also allows all of us to explore new subjects, discover great
stories and broaden our understanding. We believe that this right should be independent of individual
financial situations, which is why our collection will always be available to customers past, present and
future. CEO Margie Singleton happily added, “We look forward to welcoming our customers back
and encourage them to revisit Vaughan Public Libraries to enjoy the vast array of materials available
for loan even while our libraries are temporarily closed”.

While our locations remain closed until further notice, we do have curbside pickup service available at
our three largest locations and encourage all customers to enjoy our wonderful collection this Summer.
To place your curbside request, visit www.vaughanpl.info/curbside today, and stay tuned for more
news as we are looking to expand this service to more branches in coming weeks.

While branches are closed, you can visit our web portal for access to online programming and
digital resources that you can borrow with your library card. Simply visit www.vaughanpl.info/
vpl_at_home to get started. Also remember that we are here to answer all your library questions and
reference needs with our virtual information desk. Ask Us by visiting www.vaughanpl.info/ask_us, by
messaging us on social media or by calling 905-653-7323.