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Fine Policy


The fine is $.20 a day on all library materials including books, magazines, video-cassettes, DVDs, audio-books, compact discs, and puppets. The computer calculates fines, but allows two days grace period. On the third day fines are calculated from the day the material was due. The maximum fine on any one item is $5.00; however, a patron’s total fine may be much more if several items were late. A patron is restricted and may not check out materials if the fine totals $2.00 or more.

Overdue notices are mailed once a week. Patrons with overdue materials will be given a reminder call at 1 week overdue, and will be mailed a final notice at 1 month overdue. If the materials are not returned or paid for, the matter will be turned over to a collection agency or the authorities.

The librarian should tell the patron when the computer indicates a fine is owed. Since the Knoxville Public Library is supported by city and county taxes, the materials contained in the library essentially belong to the citizens of Knoxville and Marion County. Overdue materials and materials which are removed from the library without being properly checked out are not available for use by the people to whom they belong—the citizens of Knoxville and Marion County. Therefore:

Materials more than two months overdue shall be considered to be lost and the patron shall be charged the full cost of the material so a replacement copy may be purchased. If a patron refuses to return or pay for materials which have been overdue for two months or more, that patron may be charged with theft under section 714.5 of the Code of Iowa.

Likewise, patrons found to be taking materials without checking them out may be detained and charged under section 714.5 of the Code of Iowa.

Revised and Approved by Board of Trustees—Dec. 19, 2007


702.22 Library materials and equipment.

1. “Library materials” include books, plates, pictures, photographs, engravings, paintings, drawings, maps, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, documents, letters, public records, microforms, sound recordings, audiovisual materials in any format, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data processing records, artifacts, and written or printed materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, belonging to, on loan to, or otherwise in the custody of any of the following:
a. A public library.
b. A library of an educational, historical, or eleemosynary institution, organization, or society.
c. A museum.
d. A repository of public records.
2. “Library equipment” includes audio, visual, or audiovisual machines, machinery or equipment belonging to, on loan to or otherwise in the custody of one of the institutions or agencies listed in subsection 1.

714.5 Library materials and equipment—unpurchased merchandise—evidence of intention.

The fact that a person has concealed library materials or equipment as defined in section 702.22 or unpurchased property of a store or other mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises, is material evidence of intent to deprive the owner, and the finding of library materials or equipment or unpurchased property concealed upon the person or among the belongings of the person, is material evidence of intent to deprive and, if the person conceals or causes to be concealed library materials or equipment or unpurchased property, upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the concealed materials, equipment or property is also material evidence of intent to deprive on the part of the person concealing the library materials, equipment or goods.

The fact that a person fails to return library materials for two months or more after the date the person agreed to return the library materials, or fails to return library equipment for one month or more after the date the person agreed to return the library equipment, is evidence of intent to deprive the owner, provided a reasonable attempt, including the mailing by restricted certified mail of notice that such material or equipment is overdue and criminal actions will be taken, has been made to reclaim the materials or equipment. Notices stating the provisions of this section and of section 808.12 with regard to library materials or equipment shall be posted in clear public view in all public libraries, in all libraries of educational, historical or charitable institutions, organizations or societies, in all museums and in all repositories of public records.

After the expiration of three days following the due date, the owner of borrowed library equipment may request the assistance of a dispute resolution center, mediation center or appropriate law enforcement agency in recovering the equipment from the borrower.

The owner of library equipment may require deposits by borrowers and in the case of late returns the owner may impose graduated penalties of up to twenty-five percent of the value of the equipment, based upon the lateness of the return.

In the case of lost library materials or equipment, arrangements may be made to make a monetary settlement.