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Winnipeg Public Library

Your Library is Fine-Free!

Winnipeg Public Library will be fine-free starting January 1, 2021

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Winnipeg Public Library is happy to announce that overdue fines and DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees have been eliminated, effective January 1, 2021!

Now everyone can access and enjoy the services we offer without worrying about financial penalties if items are returned a few days late.

Overdue fines create a barrier for those who can benefit most from library services. Fines also create negative experiences for our community and library staff, and discourage use of the library. For more information, please read Overdue Fines: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How Eliminating Them Can Benefit Public Libraries by Sabrina Unrein.

Many libraries in North America have eliminated overdue fines, and have seen both significant increases in returned books and moderate decreases in late returns. For a list of public libraries that have gone fine-free, please visit End Library Fines or

  • All items are free to borrow.
  • Overdue fines will not be charged.
  • Replacement costs will be charged for items not returned, or returned damaged.
  • Requested item not picked up ($1.25) will still be charged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does fine-free mean for me?

Overdue fines will no longer be applied to your account, but you are still responsible for returning everything you borrow. Please do your best to return or renew your items on time, as someone else may be waiting for them.

Adult DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees will no longer be charged. (Children's and Teen movies did not have this fee.)

Lost and unreturned items, as well as items returned damaged, will still have replacement charges applied.

Will outstanding overdue fines be waived?

Yes! Library staff are already at work clearing fines from customer accounts. Replacement costs for lost or damaged items will remain on accounts.

What library items qualify for fine free?

All of them! The library will no longer charge overdue fines on any item. Replacement costs will still apply for lost or damaged items.

How do I get my card unblocked?

If your card is currently blocked for overdue fines or DVD/Blu-ray borrowing fees, they will be removed from your account. Lost or damaged replacement costs will not be removed.

If it has been more than 3 years since your account information was updated, we may need proof of address to renew your card. Please get in touch with us by phone or via our Ask Us! service and we will work with you to find a solution.

How will the Library encourage people to return items on time?

Most library items are returned by their due dates. Courtesy overdue notices are sent out to customers if the items are not returned.

If library items aren't returned after being overdue more than 21 days, replacement costs + processing fee will be charged to the customer's account. This charge will be removed by returning the item. If you owe fees of $50 or more, or have 10 or more items overdue, your membership is suspended.

Can I bring back long-overdue items that are still on my account?

Yes, bringing back items will remove replacement costs from your account.

What if I lose or damage an item?

A replacement charge will be added to your account for the lost or damaged item. Our Borrowing Guide has more information.

What notifications will I get when material is due?

Courtesy overdue notices will be sent out if items haven't been returned.

I thought of fines as a donation to the library. Can I still donate to the library?

Yes! The Library gratefully accepts donations. Learn More.

How can I get a library card?

You can register for a temporary card to access our online resources by filling out a registration form. Please note that you can't borrow physical materials or place holds on physical materials with a temporary card.

Will my library card still work? I haven't visited the library in years.

Library accounts must be renewed periodically. Please get in touch with us by phone or via our Ask Us! service so we can help you reactivate your account.

Last update: February 1, 2024

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