300 W. Merrill St. Birmingham, MI 48009 | (248) 647-1700

Pay Library Fees Online

We’ve all done it: forgotten a due date or misplaced a Library item leading to library fines. Fortunately, Baldwin Public Library believes in reasonable loan periods and generous renewals.

Even better, as of 7/1/21 Baldwin is now a fine-free library!  

Fine-free at Baldwin means:

  • You will no longer be assessed a daily fine for overdue materials
  • You are still responsible for returning materials on time.
  • You will still receive courtesy reminders to return your items. Items will still have due dates.
  • All past overdue fines have been removed from your account. If you have a fine that still appears on your account, please ask to speak to a supervisor at the Circulation Desk.

More information about this policy change can be found at the bottom of the page.

 

The following are loan periods of the many items you can check out from Baldwin Library, along with their renewal policies.

Location - View Map

300 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Library Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Holiday Closures

December 24: Christmas Eve - Closed All Day
December 25: Christmas Day - Closed All Day
December 26: Christmas Holiday - Closed All Day
January 1: New Years Day - Closed All Day

Item Type Loan Period Renewal allowed?*
Hot Picks Books 2 weeks No
Hot Picks DVDs & BluRays 2 days No
Battle and Birbery Books & Audiobooks 1 week Yes
Feature, Classic, and World DVDs, BluRays, & 4KBlu-Rays 1 week Yes
Magazines 1 week Yes
Video Games 1 week Yes
Youth Holiday DVDs 1 week Yes
TV Series DVDs, BluRays, & 4KBlu-Rays 2 weeks Yes
Audiobooks 3 weeks Yes
Books 3 weeks Yes
Music CDs 3 weeks Yes
Nonfeature and Exercise DVDs, Blu-Rays, & 4KBlu-Rays 3 weeks Yes
Youth Holiday Books 3 weeks Yes
Youth Launchpads 3 weeks No
Youth Magazines 3 weeks Yes
Youth Puppets 3 weeks Yes
Youth Series DVDs 3 weeks Yes
Toys 3 weeks Yes
Book Club Books 5 weeks Yes
Mel & Interlibrary Loan Varies Varies

*Most eligible items may have four renewals.

Please note that fine free does not mean “no responsibility”.    Items still have due dates and Baldwin will continue to send notices according to the following schedule:

Reminder Email and/or text                         3 days before item is due

Overdue Email and/or text                            7 days overdue

Overdue by Mail                                              14 and 21 days overdue

Overdue Bill by Mail                                       30 days overdue

Collection Notice by Mail                               60 days overdue

You will be unable to check out additional items nor will you be able to renew currently checked-out items if any of your materials are overdue by more than 10 days.  If you return the overdue item(s) within 30 days of the due date, you will have your library privileges restored automatically.

You will be billed the replacement cost for any items that are damaged or overdue by 30 days. At this point not only will you be unable to check out additional items but you will also be unable to use our digital resources and public computing services. If you pay the bill or return the items, in good condition, within 30 days of the billing date, you will have your library privileges restored.

Accounts owing more than $50 will be sent to collections if the materials are not returned or paid for after 30 days from the billing date. A $10 nonrefundable collection agency processing fee will be billed to your account. This information is NOT reported to credit bureaus. If you return the items, in good condition, within 60 days of being referred to collections, the replacement costs will be cleared from your account, but the collection agency processing fee will remain.  Once that fee is paid, your library privileges will be restored.  Payment of the entire bill in full will also restore your library privileges.

Past replacement fees for lost or damaged items still apply.

 

Patrons with fees totaling $10.00 or greater will have their library privileges suspended.  Please note that any lost/damaged item incurs a charge for the full replacement cost as it was set when we purchased the item.

To make a payment:

  • Pay online using the link above.  A link is also provided when you log into your account to see the amount owed.
  • Pay by check, cashier’s check, or money order made out to “Baldwin Public Library”.  You may give the check to the Circulation Desk or mail it to the Library:

    Baldwin Public Library    300 W. Merrill    Birmingham, MI    48009

  • Pay by cash when visiting the Library.

If you have questions about fees on your account, please call the Circulation Desk at 248-554-4630.

Lost/damaged Items and Replacement fees

Note that lost items incur a charge for the full replacement cost.

Patrons are responsible for returning all library materials by their due dates and in the same condition as they were in when borrowed. If a patron does not return a library item, or returns it in such condition that the item must be replaced, the patron will be billed for the cost of replacing the item.

The Baldwin Public Library reserves the right to assess and declare the condition of all returned library materials. Depending on the extent of damage, partial or full replacement cost of the item may be billed to the patron. Highlighting, marking, staining, and damage by liquids are all examples of billable damage. Missing parts or discs will also result in partial or full replacement cost being billed.

Baldwin does not base its replacement policy on the age or condition of the item. We do not accept replacement copies of materials in place of payment.

Should you find a lost Baldwin item within 120 days of its due date, return it directly to the Circulation Desk.  The item’s bill will be waived, or, if already paid, be refunded.  Refunds are made by check and can take up to 30 days to be sent to you.

Patrons with outstanding bills totaling $10.00 or greater will have their library privileges suspended until payment is received.

Patrons with outstanding bills totaling $50.00 or greater and at least one lost item billed may be referred to a collection agency.  Should this happen, a non-refundable $10.00 collection fee will be added to your account.

Please note that the cost to replace an item obtained through MeL or Interlibrary Loan is determined by the lending library, not by Baldwin, and may be substantial. Payment for these items must be made in the form of a check or money order made out to the lending library.

Claims Returned

If you find an item on your account that you are certain you returned, please call Circulation at 248-554-4630, or visit the Circulation Desk upon your next visit. We will initiate a “claims returned search” for the item; during the following weeks, our staff will search our shelves to try and locate the item. Before contacting the library, please double-check your home and car, paying close attention beneath furniture and car seats.

Why go fine free?

It is good for our community. Our community is stronger and healthier when all people have access to the Library programs, services, and materials they need to pursue their educational, career, family, and life goals. Once someone owes a late fine, they are less likely to visit the library again, and the fear of owing late fines can cause patrons to not borrow the items they need. We hope being fine free will encourage prior users to come back to the Library as well as encourage new users to explore our offerings.

It is good for our relationships with our patrons. When you visit Baldwin, we want to focus on helping you, not question you about late fees. Going fine free makes a trip to the Library a pleasant, positive experience for both you and our staff.

Late fines are not effective. Studies* have shown that small fines have no impact on return rates. According to “Removing Barriers to Access,” a Colorado State Library whitepaper, “The scant research on the impact of library fines and fees does not indicate a clear benefit to administering these policies.” Libraries who have removed late fees report few adverse effects on material return rates – in fact, they have actually experienced an increase in return rates after the adoption of fine free policies.

Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies find that:

  • Library card registrations increase.
  • Borrowing of materials increases.
  • More library items are returned.
  • Students return to the library to use homework resources.
  • Staff time is redirected from fines-handling to patron-focused services.

 

*Studies:

  • https://endlibraryfines.info/
  • https://www.coloradovirtuallibrary.org/resource-sharing/eliminating-fines-faqs/https://www.npr.org/2019/11/30/781374759/we-wanted-our-patrons-back-public-libraries scrap-late-fines-to-alleviate-inequi?fbclid=IwAR0hrJgNXoTgUsuHV5l-LmdTD14EuksKP NtOCYYGlXeIxDVhSnYNL0fnuzo
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/06/15/7ad6f80e-709d-11e8-afd5-778aca 903bbe_story.html?noredirect=on
  • http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/coun cil_documents/2019_ms_council_docs/ALA%20CD%2038%20RESOLUTION%20ON%2 0MONETARY%20LIBRARY%20FINES%20AS%20A%20FORM%20OF%20SOCIAL%2 0JUSTICE%20Revised%201_27_0.pdf
  • https://sfpl.org/uploads/files/pdfs/commission/Fine-Free-Report011719.pdf
Is EVERYTHING free of overdue fines?

Yes!  Books, movies, audiobooks, magazines, Internet to Go kits, magnifiers, Launchpads, bike locks – everything we loan is fine-free.

What is the difference between a fine and a fee?

Overdue fines are daily charges applied to items not returned by their specified due date.  These are the fines that will no longer be assessed to patrons. Fees are for library services and products such as replacement library cards, copying, printing, material replacement costs, etc. and are still applicable.

Do I still have to pay a fine that was on my account prior to Baldwin going fine free?

If you’ve returned all materials previously checked out from Baldwin, your fine has been waived.  You are still responsible for any overdue fines that have accrued on your account at other TLN libraries.  

Fines have been waived, so why does my account still have a balance?

Even though Baldwin is eliminating overdue fines, fees for lost or damaged materials still apply and will still be assessed.

Does this mean there are no due dates on items?

“No fines” does not mean “no responsibility.” Our current due date system still applies. Baldwin will continue to send you courtesy reminders (by text, email, and/or mail) to return your items. It is the patron’s responsibility to notify the Library of any changes in their contact information or notification method.

How will the Library ensure that patrons return borrowed items?

If an item is not returned within/by 10 days of the due date, the patron’s borrowing privileges will be suspended. 30 days after the due date, the patron will be charged a fee for the value of the book and an additional $10 nonrefundable collection fee. At this point a collection agency will take over the responsibility of retrieving the items. The patron will no longer be able to borrow materials, use the public computers, or access digital resources and databases until either the entire bill is paid or the billed items are returned and the collection fee is paid

How will the Library protect the community’s investment?

Baldwin is funded mainly through local taxes and provides a diverse and responsive collection of materials to our community. If items are damaged or lost, we will assess a fee to replace the material. If a patron’s replacement fees accrue to over $10, their account will be blocked and they will be unable to borrow more materials, use the public computers, or access any of Baldwin’s digital resources and databases.   

Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?
Reminder Email and/or text 3 days before item is due
Overdue Email and/or text 7 days overdue
Overdue by Mail 14 and 21 days overdue
Overdue Bill by Mail

30 days overdue; Patron billed for replacement cost

Collection Notice by Mail

60 days overdue; Patron account is referred to collection agency

What if I am not finished with my material?

Almost all Baldwin items are renewable four times, as long as there aren’t any holds. Our automatic renewal service means Baldwin will renew all eligible items for you!  If your item did not renew, please call the Circulation Desk at 248-554-4620 or email bplcirc@baldwinlib.org for assistance.

Please note: some items cannot be renewed: Launchpads, Interlibrary Loans, and Hot Picks, as well as any items on hold for other patrons. These items need to be returned on time. Thank you!

How will this affect the library's budget?

Overdue fines accounted for less than 0.5% of the Library’s overall income in past years and going fine free will not have a significant impact on the Library’s budget moving forward.

I have always thought of fines as my gift to the library. How can I donate now?

Donation forms are available at the Circulation Desk.  Your donation will support critical Library programs and services.  Thank you for continuing to give to the Library!

What happens if I don’t return my items on time?

You will be unable to check out additional items if your materials are overdue by more than 10 days.  If you return the overdue items within 30 days of the due date, you will have your library privileges restored automatically.

You will be billed the replacement cost for any items that are damaged or overdue by 30 days. At this point not only will you be unable to check out additional items but you will also be unable to use our digital resources and public computing services. If you pay the bill or return the items, in good condition, within 30 days of the billing date, you will have your library privileges restored.

Accounts owing more than $50 will be sent to collections if the materials are not returned or paid for after 30 days from the billing date. A $10 nonrefundable collection agency processing fee will be billed to your account. This information is NOT reported to credit bureaus. If you return the items, in good condition, within 60 days of being referred to collections, the replacement costs will be cleared from your account, but the collection agency processing fee will remain.  Once that fee is paid, your library privileges will be restored.  Payment of the entire bill in full will also restore your library privileges. 

Past replacement fees for lost or damaged items still apply.

 

Free Two-Hour Parking in Chester Street Deck

Metered street parking around Library

Free Parking on Sundays

 

248-647-1700

300 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Closures:

December 24: Christmas Eve - Closed All Day
December 25: Christmas Day - Closed All Day
December 26: Christmas Holiday - Closed All Day
January 1: New Years Day - Closed All Day

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