Fines and Fees

Policy Statement

Fines - Fines for overdue materials
Fees - Library Card Replacement Fee; Materials Replacement Fee

Any financial obligation of $25 or more posted on the customer’s financial record will cause the record to be blocked in the circulation system.

Partial payments will be accepted for fines and damaged items only.

Acceptable Forms of Payment

Cash, personal and business checks and money orders can be accepted as payment for all library fines and fees. Traveler’s Checks may not be accepted.

Fines for Cataloged Items

Upon return of overdue materials, fines may be levied by the Library Director or designated library employees at each branch based on the following guidelines:

Fines for ALL materials $.10 per day

Fines are assessed by the circulation system upon return of overdue materials. Although these fines are accruing every day an item is overdue and are showing in the list box of the Current Blocks, they are not posted until an overdue item is renewed or an overdue item or LOST item is returned.

Fines are not charged for days the branch library is closed.

Items returned in the book drop during closed hours are checked in the next working day. Staff will use the Book drop Check-in option to check in these materials.

All items have a 24 hour clock grace period before the fine accrual begins.

The maximum fine per item is $5. Additional fines over $5 attached to individual items may be waived to reflect the $5 maximum fine.

Fines may be collected at any Montgomery County Library location for any overdue Montgomery County Library material.

Fines may be collected at any Montgomery County Library location for items on Lone Star College, CyFair and Tomball accounts. Please see the Harmonic policy for more information.

Fines are not charged on overdue materials that are checked out at other library systems and returned to MCMLS. For example, if a customer has an item checked out on a Harris County Public Library card and returns the item to MCMLS, staff cannot put fines on the HCPL account. Patrons with questions on overdue procedures of other library systems should be referred to the library in question.


Library Card Replacement Fee

For a library card lost by a patron there is a $2 replacement fee. If the barcode on the library card is lost or no longer readable, there is no charge for a new library card. If a patron has a name change and a current library card, there is no charge for a replacement.

Materials Processing Fee

For lost items, patrons are assessed a Materials Processing Fee in the amount of $5. This processing fee is to cover charges for processing the item to enter the collection, such as barcodes, book covers, etc. This fee is non refundable. There is no processing fee for lease materials.

Substituting a Replacement or Copy

A patron may donate a good undamaged exact replacement of a lost or damaged item. Library staff will provide the patron with a copy of the Replacement Letter. Staff will complete the bottom portion with the title, author, ISBN number and price of the item. It is important that staff members review the contents of the letter with patrons. Staff are encouraged to accept replacement items that are in good condition and would be a suitable substitute for the lost item. For example, a 2010 FODOR’S may replace a lost or damaged 2007 edition. Withdrawn library copies are not suitable replacements. Another example of a suitable replacement item is if a patron lost a Disney VHS movie and brings a DVD movie to replace the lost item.

For replaced items, the item charge listed in the patron’s Current Blocks in the circulation system should be changed to $5. There should be a note listing PROCESSING FEE-REPLACEMENT COPY. This will prevent a refund if the original copy were to be recovered. The lost charge should be waived. A note stating LOST ITEM REPLACED should be added.

Lost Item Charges

For any item reported LOST by the patron or by the circulation system the patron is charged according to the fee summary PLUS $5 processing fee.

If a patron has paid fines on an item before the item has been changed to LOST status, the paid fines are nonrefundable. Until the item status has been changed to LOST, the patron is responsible for all accrued fines. Any fines paid on an item are not refunded when the item is found and returned by the patron.

Any charges paid on an item may be refunded when the item is found on a shelf in the library. This includes the $5 non refundable processing fee. In this case the charges may have been caused by library staff failure to properly check in the item.

For lost Interlibrary Loan Materials please see the MCMLS ILL Policy.

Lease Items

There is no processing fee charged for lost or damaged lease items. There is a default item price of $25.

Interlibrary Loan Materials

For fines, fees or lost materials charges, see the MCMLS ILL Policy.

Fine and Fee Summary

Replacement Library Card $2
Unusable barcode on card no charge
Minor barcode/pocket damage on item $2.50
Music/video/audio insert $5
Audio case $8
DVD case $5
CD case $5
Hanging ILL bag $5
ILL checkout card $5
Missing CD from lease item $15 (no processing fee)
Missing CD from the following vendors:
 BBC/Audio Go
 Books on Tape
Missing MP3 CD from the following vendors:
 BBC/Audio Go
Missing CDs and MP3 CDs from the following vendors:
 Book on Tape
 Harper Audio
 Listening Library
 Modern Scholar
 Recorded Books
 Simon and Schuster
 The Teaching Company
 Other Publishers
Full cost of item

*This list is subject to change if/when the vendor makes a change to cost.

(Effective date May 17, 2021)