Have you ever wished you could pay your Library fines/fees online or at the self-checkout stations? Now you can!
Online and self-checkout fine/fee payment is one of the final features to roll out in the transition to our new catalog and user accounts system.
- Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards accepted
- No service charge or minimum payment
- Pay from your online account – you will receive an itemized receipt by email
- Pay at any self-checkout terminal – you will receive a paper receipt plus an email receipt (if we have your email on file)
Don’t want to pay your whole fine?
- You can select which fines to pay, or choose to pay them all.
- However, you can NOT make a partial payment on a single fine (i.e. no paying $0.50 of a single $1.00 fine).
Why is no service charge/no minimum payment a good thing? The Arlington County Treasurer charges a reasonable convenience fee to offset the bank fees on card payments to the county. These fees, particularly for small payment amounts, give a sizeable amount of money to the banks, money the library could otherwise be using for books, CD's, and other materials! The library should pass on bank fees to the credit card users.
The problem is that young people today use their cards for everything. I don't think my kids even carry any cash, ever. They are used to paying for everything with a card, and stores, in general are not allowed by the credit card companies to pass on bank fees. In other words, someone paying with a card cannot be required to pay more than someone paying with cash. I believe this is wrong, but I'm also convinced it has survived many legal challenges. So, the library policy is just what people are coming to expect, and is the same as all retailers.
The Librarians says
Anonymous #2, your thoughts are part of our response. We have taken in person credit card payments at half of our locations for several years (Central, Plaza, Shirlington and Westover). When we first set those up, we decided that we didn't want to penalize people who were paying with a debit or credit card, and we chose then not to charge a fee. And for the same reason, we are not charging one now.