Renewals, Loan Periods & Fines

The Library is Fine Free!


Why is the Library going fine free?

We have been working to increase access to our community members, and to identify and reduce barriers that exist in our services. After careful consideration and with feedback from many of our neighboring libraries who are already fine-free, we felt the next step is to eliminate overdue fines permanently!

What does being fine free mean?

Fine-free means that if you return an item after the due date, we will NOT apply any overdue fines to your account. This only applies to material that you checked out in-person at the Oak Lawn Public Library.

Does this mean I can keep my checkouts forever?

No, you should return library materials in a timely manner so your neighbors can use them, too! Most items will automatically renew up to two times if there are no holds. But after an item is 14 days overdue, your library account will be blocked from further use until you either return the item in good condition or pay for the lost item. So think of the Library being fine free as us giving you an extended grace period. We still want you to return items on time, but don’t want you to have to worry about, or be penalized for, returning items a few days late.

Why do I still have a bill on my account? Fines vs. Fees

A FINE is a daily accrual of money owed to the library for items being overdue.
A FEE is an amount of money billed to your account for lost, damaged, or unreturned library material.
So, we are forgiving all past overdue fines, and removing future overdue fines, but we are NOT waiving fees for lost or damaged items. Therefore, if an item is not returned, is lost, or too damaged to be used by others, the cost of the item will be billed to your account.

I still see overdue fines on my account. Why?

You can still accrue overdue fines on items that you check out at other libraries within SWAN that are not fine free. Our fine free announcement only means that you will not accrue overdue fines on items checked out at Oak Lawn Public Library.

Pay Fines & Fees

You may pay off fees at the Library with cash (in-person) or virtually with a credit card. Click the My Account tab at the top of the website to access your account, or click HERE

Renewals are Automatic

Eligible OLPL items will be renewed automatically up to two times. Items are ineligible for renewal if they have holds on them, have been renewed twice already, or the patron’s card is no longer in good standing. If you have an email address listed on your account, you’ll receive a notice two days before an item’s due date informing you whether the item was renewed. To sign-up for email notifications, visit or call the Library’s Customer Services Department. Check due dates for all items using the “My Account” tab in the online catalog or on the SWAN Library Services app.

Grace Period

We have a three-day grace period for overdue OLPL items where you won’t be charged the overdue fee. Be mindful, though, that fines are accruing, and on the fourth day, you will be charged for four days’ worth of fees.

Damaged & Lost Items

If you return a damaged item to the Library or have lost a Library item, you will be charged the price of the item listed in the catalog, plus a $5.00 processing fee. (This can get expensive, so be careful!)

Blocked Cards

Use of a patron’s card will be blocked if that card has one or more items 14 days overdue and/or has accrued $5.00 in fees. These fees can be paid at the Customer Services Desk via cash, check, or credit card (credit cards aren’t working, yet). You can also pay online through your account on the Library’s catalog. Payment cannot be processed over the phone. Contact the Customer Services Department if you have questions about your library card’s balance.

Holds & Interlibrary Loan

Patrons can reserve items to be held at the library for up to 7 days. To request an item, call, use the online catalog, or ask a librarian in person when you visit. You will be placed in a queue to receive the requested material from OLPL or another SWAN library. You will receive a notice via phone or email when the item becomes available for you, and you will have 7 days to pick it up before the hold expires and you are removed from the list. If you miss a hold pickup deadline, you will have to re-request the item to be placed back in the queue.

Not finding what you need in the SWAN catalog?

Ask a librarian about requesting materials from out-of-system. We will do our best to locate any items and acquire them for you from libraries across the nation. Direct any questions about the ILL process to Meghan Moran, Assistant Department Head – Customer Services (708-422-4990, ext. 630;

Checkout Limits & Fines

Information here is for materials checked out at Oak Lawn Public Library. Materials checked out at other SWAN libraries are subject to those libraries’ loan rules. Patrons may check out up to 200 physical items at a time. Some items are allowed a limited number of checkouts per card at one time.

Note: Checkout times, limits, and late fines for Out-of-System Interlibrary Loan materials are contingent on the item type. Out-of-System Interlibrary Loan Materials are not eligible for automatic renewal. Call or email Meghan Moran, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator, to inquire about ILL renewals. (708-422-4990, ext. 630;

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