Johnson County Library Board Votes to Eliminate Overdue Fines

Johnson County Library’s Board of Directors voted Thursday night to eliminate fines for overdue materials. The Library will no longer assess fines on items checked out beginning April 14 and existing fines on patron accounts will be waived, along with fees older than seven years. With this new policy, Johnson County Library joins in a nationwide trend of Libraries going fine-free, including other regional systems like Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.

The Library will still charge fees for lost or damaged items. Items more than 30 days overdue will have a lost item fee assessed until the item is returned. Checkout periods have not changed; materials will still have due dates, with frequent email reminders to keep patrons on track.

County Librarian Tricia Suellentrop is hopeful the change in policy will bring people back to the Library who have been staying away over concerns about fines. “Our mission is to provide access to Library materials and services. We want everyone in our community to be excited about using the Library and all we have to offer, not see barriers.”

Patrons can get more information on the changes by visiting any of the 14 Johnson County Library locations, or at

  • Formerly 30 cents per day and capped at $6.00 per item, Johnson County Library’s fines were the highest in the metro. 
  • The Library Board asked staff to explore the impact of going fine-free at their fall 2022 Board retreat. Staff presented their recommendation to go fine-free at the March Board Meeting.
  • The financial impact is less than one percent of the Library’s budget and will not affect Library services.
  • This policy change has had very positive outcomes in other libraries who have enacted the change. Data show it can result in increased patron visits and circulation and does not result in longer wait lists or an increase of overdue materials.