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Track Your Library Items & Avoid Fines

Track Your Library Items & Avoid Fines.

Avoid Late Fees

If you’re ever bored and looking for something to do, the library is a fun place to visit. Not only can you pick up some books to read, but often they also have movies, music, video games, magazines and more.

The library near us has a great kids area with toys, books and a kid-friendly indoor playground. We love to bring Elliott there on rainy days when there’s nothing else to do. It’s a great way to enjoy some family fun – for free.

The library is only fun when it’s free… you need to remember to return your borrowed materials or else you will have to pay fines.

The fines at our local library are as follows:
All Material (except as below) = $0.35/day (Maximum $10.00)
DVDs & Video Games = $1.00/day (Maximum $10.00)

Of course, your fines will likely be different as they vary throughout the country. Check with your local library to be sure. Many locations will have their fines listed online, but if not, you can always give them a quick call to find out.

Most books can be borrowed for around three weeks at many libraries. At our location, movies can only be rented for one week. Again, check with your local library to confirm the length of borrowing.

Write Down Your Due Date(s)

This is the most important step that you can take when trying to remember to return your library materials on time.

Some people use a calendar, some like to stick post-it notes to their computer, some like to set the date into their phones. Wherever you chose to write down your due dates, be sure they are in a spot that you look at at least once a day.

I am always looking at my home management binder at least once a day, so I write down my library due dates in there. My friend likes to put her due dates into her phone, since she sees that several times a day. Do what works for you.

Renew Your Item(s)

If you have not finished reading/watching/listening to your item by the time your due date rolls around, you may be able to renew it. Many libraries offer this option for free online, but some require you to go to your library and renew in person. If you really want to keep the item a bit longer, I would definitely suggest renewing it to avoid paying any late fees.

Just be sure that you get it back to the library before your next due date.

Libraries may not allow you to renew if the item you have is popular and has a lot of people on a waiting list. So don’t expect to take out a new release and then renew it shortly after you borrow it.

My Top 3 Tips For Keeping Track Of Library Materials & Avoiding Fines:

1. Have a dedicated spot for library items. We have a small basket in our living room that houses all of our library books, movies, etc. We never mix these items in with our own because who knows if we would ever find them again.

2. Keep a detailed list of all borrowed items. Right now, we just have a simple list inside the basket that holds our library items. I plan to make up a sheet that can be kept in my home management binder so that this will be easier and more organized.

3. Return items before the due date. Doing this will ensure that your books and other items get back to the library before they are due, so you won’t have to worry about any late fines. When I mark my due dates into my calendar, I make the date a few days earlier than what the actual due date is.

The library can be a fun and enjoyable place to spend time, but it’s important to remember to always return your items on time to avoid those pesky late fees.


  1. Robin

    Libraries are great!

    My library will also send an email to me a couple days before my items are due, this lets me know which ones to either return or renew! You should ask to see if your library will, usually you have to sign up by giving them your email address.

    Oh, and they also have excellent FREE programs for children (like puppet shows or craft afternoons) and adults too (I went to a papermaking class at mine last night!)

  2. Kristina

    My library (Oakville and Burlington) also has a digital collection of ebooks and audiobooks you can download onto to your computer or portable device, and when they are due back it just expires, you don’t have to bring anything back!

  3. Michelle

    We really love our local library. Ever since moving here we are regular visitors there and they have such an amazing collection of books and DVDs that we all enjoy.

    We put newer items on hold and then let us know when they are available for pick up at our local branch. That way we can watch new shows (for children), movies and even play the latest video games.

  4. Lori

    print a slip when you check your book out and use it as a book mark, another reminder of the due date……
    our library even offers FREE museum passes to 6 local museums, (Hamilton area), just search museum passes, they entitle a family of four FREE admission, great family fun and a learning experience too!

  5. teachermum

    Thank you for the reminder…I did just renew a bag of books, but haven’t yet wrote the new date on the calendar! I think I can now renew on-line, but it is so easy to call, give them my name and voila, she tells me the new date!

    I have a girlfriend who kept calling to renew a book for about a year–until it finally turned up at home!

  6. Cassie Howard

    Robin – That’s great that your library will email you a few days before your due date. I’ll have to check if ours does that! I know that libraries also have great free programs – that’s what I love about them so much. they are especially fun in the summer. I find there are many more free activities then.

    Kristina – I love that! What a great idea.

    Michelle – We love ours as well. It’s 3 floors and is just massive!

    Lori – Great idea about the bookmark. By doing it that way you will always have to look at the due date, so you should never forget it!

    teachermum – Wow, your friend was lucky! Our library won’t let us renew more than twice I believe.

  7. Michelle

    Cassie – You must mean the Mississauga Central Library.. I love their children’s section.. My son loves to play at the train table and he enjoyed playing with Thomas trains .. We got him so many of the trains but now I feel he has outgrown them .. but from time to time the trains and the train table still draws him..

    They have great programs for younger kids as well.. story time and other events through the year. Easter egg hunt, March break events, Summer Reading club and even movies for families and children on Saturday afternoons and for adults on some weekday evenings.

    In short there is not enough I can say to express how much I love going to the library here. 🙂

    I will check too if they send out email reminders for items which are going to be due for return. I know when I get my notice of my library holds there is a notice if an item is overdue at the bottom. But that is after midnight.

    Please excuse the extra long comment.

  8. Cassie Howard

    Michelle – Yep, that’s the one! We really love that library too. It’s massive! I’m really looking forward to all of the upcoming programs that they feature there. What a great place. 🙂

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