Memorial Day Closing

All Rock Island Public Library buildings will be closed Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. We reopen at normal times May 28. Remember to come see us at our Summer Reading kickoff on Thursday, May 30! 

RIPL Cardholders Are STILL Fine Free

Our Fine Free policy for RIPL cardholders wasn't only for our anniversary year - it's an ongoing policy! That means that late fines for Rock Island Public Library (RIPL) cardholders are mostly a thing of the past.

Scarce specialty items, such as hotspots and mobile streaming devices, cultural passes, and Library of Things collections will still accrue late fines when overdue. 

Other Exceptions

The Fine Free policy does not include replacement costs or damaged items. Items still need to be returned. Materials kept too long will be counted as lost, with the replacement charge billed to a patron's account. To avoid having traditional items billed to your account, bring them back in a timely manner.  Always bring back hotspots, streamingdevices, culture passes and Library of Things materials back on the day they're due. 

Lost, damaged, processing, and collection fees will still be charged, if necessary.

To encourage returns before items are billed, courtesy notices and friendly reminder notices will continue. LIbrary patrons can also track their checkouts with the PrairieCat mobile app and online catalog. 

The Fine Free policy will “follow” Rock Island patrons who use other libraries, but the reverse is not true for patrons of other libraries. Cardholders of non-Fine Free libraries will still incur overdue fines for late returns.

Fulfilling the Library's Strategic Plan

The policy was included in the Library's 2022-25 Strategic Plan. The library dedicated the Rock Island Public Library Foundation's $4,000 Birdies for Charity pledge to the fine-free cause. Eight Fine Free Friday events in 2022 brought back 680 items and waived nearly $1,776 of late fines. Recent book sales from the Library Foundation PALS (People Advocating for Library Services) have donated another $6,000 to the cause. 

Before the policy took effect on January 1, 2023, previous overdue fines were purged. Replacement charges, processing fees, damages, or collection fees remained on accounts.

“If it’s been a while since you’ve used your card, call us,” said Christina Nobiling, Director of Circulation Services. “We’ll be happy to discuss options for reactivating your card.”

Overdue fines account for less than one percent of the Library’s overall budget, noted Angela Campbell, Director of the Rock Island Public Library. “Rather than motivating returns, fines are a source of anxiety that block people from coming back. As a matter of equity, we want our entire community to benefit from our lifelong learning opportunities. Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines have seen an increase in returns, and more use of library materials, and that’s the result we want to see, too," she added.