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What happens to money collected in overdue fines?

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1Joellen38
Feb 7, 2013, 4:45pm Top

At my library we have a lot of patrons who think that when they are paying a late fee they are buying more books or contributing to our salary. Since they think they are helping us out (and we get our stuff back) we don't have the heart to tell them that we have to give that money up to the county. So what happens to money collected from your late fees? Are you able to use them to benefit your library or do you have to turn it over?

2artgirl64
Feb 7, 2013, 5:09pm Top

I work in an academic library. The money gets turned over to the treasurer's office, so far as I know. The library does not get to keep it or use it.

3weener
Feb 7, 2013, 5:39pm Top

As far as I know, at my public library it goes into something called the city's "General Fund" and we don't get to use it or anything.

4RowanTribe
Feb 7, 2013, 7:08pm Top

Public Library, associated with a County, but not PART of the county. Fines collected by our library are used by the library, but they go into the Library General Fund. They get classed as "misc funds" and are used only to help cover generalities and boring stuff like facilities maintenance and rent and utilities. Our salaries are tax-dollars, and our materials budget is also tax-dollars as well as county and state funds.

I suppose it's nice that we get to keep them, but we don't ever collect enough in fines to make a dent in our library's overall budget anyway.

5alco261
Edited: Feb 21, 2013, 8:29am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

6mamzel
Feb 10, 2013, 2:31pm Top

LOL!

71luckylibrarian
Feb 13, 2013, 3:58pm Top

I work for a public library that is part of the county government. Our fines go right back to the county :(

8Silverlily26
Feb 16, 2013, 1:21pm Top

I work for an academic library our fines go into our budget and we can use this to buy fiction or general interest books, as our normal budget has to go in line with what is taught in the college.

9Athabasca
Feb 16, 2013, 1:32pm Top

I work for a public library in a local authority. Our fines count against our income targets.

The budget is set up so that we only get to spend our full book budget if we make our income targets. So if we under-achieve income targets, we have to under-spend the book budget. If we over-achieve the income targets (highly unlikely), we can over-spend the book budget.

I've spent years of my life explaining to accountants that I can't really control how much we make in fines!

10DanieXJ
Feb 17, 2013, 11:44am Top

Wait, so, do the fines count against you? That makes no sense (well, unless you're the species of librarian who has successfully figured out how to control patrons minds and make them return books on time even though they don't want to.... ;) I'm currently working on that but have had no luck getting it to work.... ;D)

11Athabasca
Feb 17, 2013, 12:10pm Top

unless you're the species of librarian who has successfully figured out how to control patrons minds and make them return books on time even though they don't want to.... ;) I'm currently working on that but have had no luck getting it to work.

Me neither...it has always seemed very Machiavellian to me. We seldom make our income targets, but when we do, they raise the target the next year! Is it any wonder you go slightly insane working for local government :0)

12Mithrandir
Edited: Feb 22, 2013, 12:42pm Top

Fine money goes right into the general operating fund.

13MsMixte
Feb 22, 2013, 1:24pm Top

>9 Athabasca:

Does anyone know the reasoning behind this? Is it a recent 'innovation', or has it always been that way?

14mysterymax
Feb 23, 2013, 8:54am Top

Our library only has late fees for movies and the board decided that those funds, which used to go into the general operating fund, would instead be restricted for the purchase of new dvds.

15debbiegeiger
Feb 25, 2013, 10:32am Top

I work at a public library and the money goes into our general fund, to be spent on running and maintaining the library.

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