Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Worry less and read more this summer with a big change coming to the Fond du Lac Public Library.

Starting June 1, in celebration of the beginning of this year’s Summer Reading Program, the Fond du Lac Public Library will go fine-free on any type of reading materials.

This means that patrons will be “Free to Read at FDLPL.” Whether library users are borrowing books, magazines, audiobooks on CD, audiobooks on Playaway devices, or any other reading material, they’ll never receive a fine for bringing it back after the due date. 

Items still will have due dates, and library users still will need to get them back to the library before they're considered lost, but they won’t need to fret about missing the due date by a few days.

The library also will be eliminating existing fines for reading materials that were returned beyond their due date. This will eliminate thousands of dollars in overdue fines that library users would have been expected to pay.  It should be noted that the library will continue to charge for late DVDs and lost materials, but parents, caregivers and students will no longer need to worry about deadlines, due dates and overdue fees for reading materials.Learn more about the Free to Read at FDLPL initiative at

This is a big change for the Fond du Lac Public Library and one that the library hopes will welcome many people back.  One of the library's goals is to encourage people to read; eliminating fines on books will break down one potential barrier to reading.

Many libraries nationwide already have gone fine-free, and studies have found that library customers are more likely to return to the library when the worry of late fines are eliminated. In fact, libraries have discovered that books actually are returned sooner when fines are eliminated because people no longer fear the stigma of coming in with overdue books. Removing fines on books and reading materials is a step that benefits everyone.

It’s no coincidence that this is being rolled out as the library’s Summer Reading Program for 2022 begins. Parents and teachers often lament the “summer slide” students experience when they’re separated from the structured learning environment that schools provide. 

The Free to Read at FDLPL initiative aims to minimize the summer slide and encourage everyone in the community to read. Participating in Summer Reading at the Fond du Lac Public Library also provides the opportunity for participants to win prizes for reading, for youth to experience incredible STEM activities, see live programming such as visits from Mad Science Milwaukee and the Raptor Education Group, and more – all offered free to the community.

Learn more about the Free to Read program by clicking here.