[Libs-Or] Non-urgent question for Public Libraries re disposition of fines, etc.: Summary

Leah Griffith leah.griffith at newbergoregon.gov
Thu Mar 1 20:35:00 PST 2012

Considering that fine revenue at my library is only a quarter of my book budget, the fine money going to the general fund is a much better deal.

Leah Griffith ~ Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 1, 2012, at 3:36 PM, "Laura Orr" <Laura_Orr at co.washington.or.us<mailto:Laura_Orr at co.washington.or.us>> wrote:

Hi all:

Thank you for many responses!

I'm glad to see not much has changed, though I've had to do a Car Guys dope-slap since I forgot about the library districts, but then I'm in the law library world, which has its own procedures and practices - and traditions.

1) It seems as though most libraries deposit fines, etc. with their jurisdiction's general fund, which makes sense.

2) Library districts keep their fines, which also makes sense.

3) Last, patrons still express "disappointment" that their fines aren't going to "buy new books," but that sentiment also makes sense since the average patron doesn't understand the budget process or library funding, nor should they necessarily.  Sometimes we have to remind them that the library very often comes out ahead.

Best regards - and thanks, again!


From: Laura Orr
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 11:08 AM
To: 'libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us<mailto:libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>'
Subject: Non-urgent question for Public Libraries re disposition of fines, etc.


I have a "Meatball Reference Question" and informal, anecdotal, and "in a former library" types of responses are all A-OK.  You do not have to specify the name of the library, city, or any other identifying info.  I certainly won't keep that information with your substantive yes, no, some, or other responses.  I will be using this info only anecdotally myself.

QUESTION: If you are an Oregon public library, do you keep your late (and/or other) fines/fees for the library itself or are those revenues turned over to your jurisdiction's general fund?

If you know of a report (of fairly recent vintage) that compiles and analyzes such data, from Oregon, ALA, or other org, I'd like to know that too, but it is not necessary to do any research unless you happen to be curious about this yourself.

Almost anything you can tell me to update my knowledge from 1974 (when I last fielded this question, very delicately, in a public library in Philadelphia) would be very helpful.

Thank you!


Laura J. Orr
Law Librarian
Washington County Law Library
111 NE Lincoln St
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Phone: 503-846-8870
Fax: 503-846-3515
Email: laura_orr at co.washington.or.us<mailto:laura_orr at co.washington.or.us>
URL: http://www.co.washington.or.us/lawlibrary
Oregon Legal Research Blog: http://oregonlegalresearch.blogspot.com/
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