SDG Library goes fines-free

Existing fines are forgiven

SDG Counties, Ont.— In a move to provide more equitable and accessible service, SDG Library has eliminated overdue library fines as of June 25, 2024. Existing fines have been forgiven.

SDG Library joins over 100 libraries across Ontario alone in transitioning to a fine-free system. Library fines can be a significant expense to those with low or no income and cause people to stop using the library.

The decision was made by the SDG Library Board in June’s meeting. With the elimination of fines, SDG Library hopes to reduce barriers and welcome people back to the library.

“The decision from our Board means more people across SDG Counties will have access to reading and educational materials, with no fines restricting their ability to read, watch, or listen to the items in our collection,” said Rebecca Luck, director of library services. “A big thank you goes out to staff and the Board for their vision of a fines-free library system.”

An exception to the fines-free movement is inter-library loan materials, which are materials borrowed from other libraries in Ontario. Fees for lost and damaged items will also remain in effect.

Anyone with existing fines will have the amount removed from their account. In 2022, SDG Library removed late fines from its children’s material.

Although the change means no late fines will be accrued, the Library asks that items be returned on time so that others may enjoy them as well. Reminders by email and/or phone will continue to be sent to borrowers.

From 2018 to 2023, fines accounted for less than 1 per cent of SDG Library’s budget.

The Ontario Library Association estimates that for every $5.00 collected in fines, the cost to an organization could be as much as $5.95. This is a combination of time spent between a frontline Library staff member and a library user, communications, and staff time to collect and complete deposits.


The SDG Library encompasses 15 library branches and three express depots across the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Counties.

For further information or to arrange for an interview with a member of SDG Library staff, please contact SDG Library Communications and Marketing Coordinator Cassie MacDonell at or (613) 577-1864.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Stormont Dundas & Glengarry County Library