Two years ago, the DePaul University Library received a surprise package in the mail, a copy of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory that had been checked out by a DePaul student in the 1950s. While the library is always happy to receive materials that have been on “extended loan,” we would like to make it easier for you to return anything you might have from our collection on your bookshelf (or in your DVD player or your game system) without worrying about the cost. And so, for the first time since 1996, the DePaul University Library will waive late fines and fees for DePaul students, faculty, staff, and alumni on DePaul-owned materials, no matter how long overdue, if returned to the library between November 7-13, 2016.
Fine amnesty programs have been popular in public libraries, with both Chicago Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library hosting successful programs in 2016. Concerned that large fines attached to their accounts might be keeping potential library users from the resources and services from which they might otherwise benefit, public libraries have exchanged fee revenues for new engagement with their communities, as well as for the opportunity to see materials long overdue returned to the collections. Chicago Public Library’s 2016 fine amnesty followed the success of its 2012 program, which was the first CPL fine amnesty in 20 years, and resulted in the return of over 100,000 items.
Academic libraries have also provided fine amnesties in recent years, including Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Mississippi, and Niagra University. DePaul last provided a fine amnesty in 1996 in collaboration with SGA, when fines were forgiven for patrons who returned their materials along with a can of food (or other contribution) for a food drive. During that one-week program, 668 books were returned to the library and over $2,000 in fines were forgiven. The current fine amnesty is provided as part of the shared commitment by the library, the Office of Academic Affairs, and SGA to address issues of educational affordability and to ensure that our current students, in particular, face fewer barriers to using library resources and services.
As part of this fine amnesty program, DePaul faculty, staff, students, and alumni may return any overdue library materials charged to their accounts prior to the day of participation. If an item has been lost, patrons will be responsible for paying only the replacement cost. Materials borrowed through the Rinn Law Library, I-Share, or Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) are not eligible for waiver of fees and fines, and fines due to damage to library materials will not be waived.
To review your account to determine whether or not you have any materials currently overdue on your account, please visit: https://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/vf-dpu/MyResearch/Home. For more information about the fine amnesty program, please call 312-362-8433 or visit: http://libguides.depaul.edu/fine-amnesty.