May 20, 2022

Toronto Libraries Collected $3 Million In Fines Last Year

From Inside Toronto:

City libraries collected nearly $3 million in fines last year, but though librarians are taught waiving fines “is permitted only in an exceptional situation,” the system forgave more than $375,500 in 2013.


The report [we’ve embedded a copy below], requested in May by the Toronto Public Library Board and presented at its meeting last week, says fine-waiving is done for “compassionate reasons”- medical emergencies, severe weather which closed branches, poverty, mobility issues, and “cognitive or mental health challenges” – which prevented people getting materials back to branches on time.


Toronto libraries in 2012 also started charging customers for “holds” placed on books and other materials if these items were not picked up.

This practice was successful, Bailey’s report concludes, because the number of items stranded on shelves by holds not picked up fell from 465,991 in 2012 to 222,194 in 2013, a drop of 52 per cent.

Read the Complete Article

2013 Fines Waived: Toronto Public Library Staff Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.