12 Hudson Valley libraries opt to end fines for overdue books

Woodstock Library. (Photo by Dion Ogust)

Twelve Mid-Hudson libraries have ended all fines for overdue materials, and six more don’t fine children and or senior citizens, according to this week’s Mid-Hudson Library System weekly newsletter.

The newsletter cites a January 2019 resolution by the American Library Association that concluded that fines “[create] a barrier to the provision of library and information services” and further, that “studies have shown that small fines do not have an impact on return rates.”

Several local libraries had already eliminated or reduced fines prior to this year. As of December 2019, the following libraries do not impose fines:


  • Chatham Public Library
  • Claverack Free Library
  • Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library (Cold Spring)
  • Blodgett Memorial Library (Fishkill)
  • Marlboro Free Library
  • Olive Free Library Association
  • Patterson Library
  • Phoenicia Library
  • Morton Memorial Library (Pine Hill)
  • West Hurley Public Library
  • Valatie Free Library
  • Woodstock Public Library District

Another six libraries are partially fine free: Elting Memorial Library (New Paltz), North Chatham Free Library, Staatsburg Library, Town of Ulster Public Library, and Kingston Library have waived fines for younger patrons, and the Highland Public Library is waiving fines for patrons younger than 18 and older than 65.

The Mid-Hudson Library System includes 70 libraries in Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia, Green and Putnam counties.