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COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux

Notice: Proof of immunization is not required to visit a library branch. Select in-person programming will require proof of immunization; participants will be notified accordingly. View more information on our response to COVID-19.

Avis : Il n'est pas nécessaire de fournir une preuve d'immunisation pour entrer dans les bibliothèques. Une preuve d'immunisation sera requise dans le cadre de certains programmes intérieurs; les participants seront avisés en conséquence. Pour en savoir plus, visitez : Mesures de protection en cours.

Notice: In-person service has expanded at all locations. You can now visit us in person to browse collections, get membership and account assistance, use computers, print and photocopy, as well as use self-checkout and self-pick-up of holds. See our Library Services During COVID-19 guide.

Avis : Il est désormais possible de parcourir les collections, d'obtenir de l'aide relativement à l'adhésion et aux comptes, d'utiliser les ordinateurs, d'imprimer et de photocopier, ainsi que d'emprunter des articles à partir d'un poste de libre-service et de ramasser des articles réservés dans toutes les succursales. Consultez notre Services de bibliothèques durant la pandémie de COVID-19 pour en savoir plus.

Winnipeg Public Library

Your Library is Fine-Free!

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

Version française

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 Librarianship.ca. The library will be permanently fine-free as of January 1, 2021.

  • Starting January 1, 2021, items borrowed will not have overdue fines charged.
  • Library customers' accounts with existing fines will have those fines cleared.
  • The borrowing fee (also called "wear and tear" fee) for Adult DVDs and Blu-rays will no longer be charged and this fee will be removed from customers' accounts.
  • Items not returned will have the replacement costs charged to the customer's account (no changes to current practice).

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 items are returned by their due dates. Life does get in the way sometimes. Courtesy overdue notices are sent out to customers if items are not returned.

If library items aren't returned, replacement costs will be charged.

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: December 29, 2020

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This form is not intended to collect personal information; however, any personal information you choose to include in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

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