Fine Policy

Mentor Public Library’s mission is to enrich people’s lives and foster a vibrant and informed community. The library recognizes that monetary overdue fines ultimately do not serve the core mission of the library to be accessible to all.

Research shows that fines do not encourage the timely return of materials and often serve as a barrier to those in a lower socio-economic status. In an effort to eliminate economic barriers, Mentor Public Library will eliminate the charge of overdue fines for most items – including books, DVDs, magazines, CDs, and video games – effective May 3, 2021. Exceptions to this are listed below.

The elimination of fines is a customer-service initiative, not a financial one. Overdue fines currently represent less than a tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the library’s operating revenues. But they can create frustration for patrons and even cause them to not use their community library.

Several other libraries in our area – including Willoughby-Eastlake Public Libraries, Morley Library, Kirtland Library, and Cleveland Public Library – have also eliminated many fines. Removing our fines will help prevent confusion for patrons who visit and borrow from several CLEVNET libraries.

Elimination of overdue fines does not eliminate patron responsibility for the items they check out. Patrons will be billed the full cost when items are not returned. Also, patrons with existing overdue fines will still be responsible for payment.

Patrons will continue to be notified when library materials are overdue. A card will be blocked when five or more items are overdue. The library will, in good faith, attempt to notify patrons that their materials are overdue on two occasions. An item will be deemed Lost if it’s not returned within 21 days of its due date. The patron will then be charged for the full price of the item. Patrons with items not returned for a prolonged period of time will be sent to collections and billed a $15 collection fee.

The following items will continue to accrue overdue fines:

  • HotSpots and electrical devices
  • Library of Things items
  • Interlibrary Loan items
  • Book kits
  • Items from other CLEVNET libraries, according to each library’s fine policy.

Loan Periods

The maximum number of items permitted to be checked out on a library card at one time is 150.  Due to limited quantity or cost some materials may have specific limits on the quantity permitted to be check out on a library card.

The library offers autorenewals and most checked out items may be renewed unless they have been placed on hold by another patron or reached the maximum number of renewals. You may also renew online through the catalog or phone the library and ask for Circulation Services.

Material Loan Period Limit Fine Per Day Renewals
Audiobooks (Books on CD) 3 weeks 20 None 4
Books 3 weeks None None 6
Book Kits 6 weeks 2 $.50 none
Magazines 1 week None None 4
Music CDs 3 weeks 20 None 4
Video Games 1 week 2 None 4
DVDs & Blu-Ray – Fiction 1 week Total of 25 items None 4
DVDs & Blu-Ray – Nonfiction 3 weeks None 4
DVD Sets (3 or more DVDs) – Fiction and nonfiction 3 weeks None 4

Specialty Items

Patrons over age 18 with cards in good standing below the $10 fine threshold may borrow:

Material Loan Period Limit Fine Per Day Renewals
Binoculars 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Board Games 2 weeks 2 $.50 None
Cake Pans 2 weeks 2 $.50 Yes
HotSpots 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Laptops (In-House Only) 1 hours 1 N/A Unlimited
Light Therapy Lamps 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Oversized Games 2 weeks 1 $5 or $.50 None
Round Knitting Looms 2 weeks 1 $.50 Yes
Telescope 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Traffic Cone Set (Five Cones) 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Turntable 2 weeks 1 $5 None
Ukulele (Instrument/Book/Tuner) 2 weeks 1 $5 None


When a patron’s card reaches $10 in lost or damaged items, the card will be considered delinquent. In order for patrons to check out materials the total fines owed must be below $10.

Unique Management Assistance

The Mentor Public Library uses a collection agency to encourage patrons to return their lost materials to the library. In fairness to all patrons, the library will pass the $15 cost of this service on to each patron whose account must be handled by the collection agency.

If the items are not returned and the total billed is $50 or more, patrons will be turned over to a collection agency. Fees for damaged items are the price of the item. Patrons returning items with missing pieces or booklets will be charged the full price of the item since an incomplete item cannot be circulated.

Lost or Damaged Items

If you lose or damage an item, please call us or stop in and let us know. The charge for lost items is the cost of the item. It is the intention of Mentor Public Library to maintain high physical quality of materials.

The library does not accept replacement items for lost or damaged materials without prior authorization. No refunds will be issued once an item is paid for by the patron. The patron may keep the lost or damaged item once it is paid for in full, if it is still available.

There is a $2.00 charge for locking DVD cases that are returned in damaged condition.

Damaged DVD Cases

Items that Do Not Belong to Mentor Public Library or Clevnet

If you accidentally return another library’s items to Mentor Public Library, we will do our best to return those items to the appropriate library. If you return rental DVDs and games  to Mentor Public Library, we will keep them behind the circulation desk for two weeks for you to pick up. We cannot keep these items beyond two weeks due to lack of space. The Library is not able to return rental DVDs and games for you.

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