Overdue Fine-Free Summer of Jubilee

About the Jubilee

For any lending library, overdue items are an everyday part of life. Though the Hekman Library charges fines for such transgressions, we do so only to better serve our patrons as a whole. Fines are meant to provide motivation to return our items, but in a variety of cases, perhaps a different kind of motivation is needed. Now, for the first (and probably last) time in Hekman Library history, we will forgive every debt for any items returned this summer (July 1 – September 30). Six days, six months, or even six years overdue, it does not matter. Simply return any library items you have, regardless of how long you have had them, and they will be checked in with no fines, no questions asked.

After all, we never wanted to fine you in the first place. We simply want our items back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is the library doing this?
A1. We understand that almost nobody keeps our items on purpose. While we carefully track the circulation of our items, we ultimately base our system on mutual trust, and generally make only a good-faith effort to recover unreturned items. This program provides an opportunity to erase any past library mistakes without the common barriers of fear and shame.

Q2. So, if I lose something this summer, I won’t have to pay for it?
A2. Sorry, fines will only be canceled when the item is returned.

Q3. I just paid an overdue fine last week. Can I get my money back?
A3. Unfortunately, no. Any retroactive forgiveness would be impossible to dispense in a reasonable way. Take comfort in knowing that the settlement of your debt shows integrity, and that the money will be used to provide you with better library service in the future.

Q4. I have a bunch of library books which I checked out years and years ago. Does this program apply to me?
A4. There are no item or time limits for this program; it applies to everyone and every item.

Q5. How long does this program last?
A5. Anything returned between July 1 and September 30 will be checked in without fines.

Q6. What do I need to do to participate?
A6. Simply return any library items you may have in the usual fashion (book drop-off, circulation desks). There is nothing special you need to do, as the program applies to all returns automatically.

Q7. Why are you calling it a “Summer of Jubilee”?
A7. The name is a reference to the biblical “Year of Jubilee,” a Jewish observance during which property was to be returned to its original owner.