Students are pictured in the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale
Campus. University Libraries announced it will eliminate fees on most
University Libraries has taken steps to eliminate fines on overdue
materials in order to improve equity and access for library visitors.
Jon Jeffryes, interim associate dean of University Libraries, said
Grand Valley is an early adopter of this practice in the academic
"It started with questioning our traditional practices and
asking if we are doing this because there's an actual purpose for it
or if it's just the way we have historically done things,"
Fines were previously used as a way of encouraging library users to
return materials on time, but the new approach will simply limit
individuals from checking out additional materials if they have
Anything owned by GVSU that is loaned to students, faculty or staff
members will not have fines attached but items loaned from libraries
external to Grand Valley will still have fines, Jeffryes said. The
only time a fee would be charged is if an item is damaged or lost.
Patrick Roth, department head of systems and technology for
University Libraries, said public libraries across the country were
the inspiration for making this change.
"Public libraries do a great job of pushing the limits on what
can be done to increase access and make things more equitable,"
These changes were spurred by University Libraries bringing on a new
software system. Other recent changes include increasing the length of
time materials can be checked out, and improvements on search
functions within the library's database.
Roth noted most of the system changes will impact the staff's
workflow, allowing them to get materials to those who need it more
efficiently. Comprehensive fines and fee information can be found on
the Libraries’ borrowing