BookshelfLibrary fines can be a barrier toward a community developing a love of reading and literacy.

And as a step to providing readers with their best possible library experience, the Pioneer Library System has instituted a new autorenewal service for checkouts to help alleviate the issue that pesky library fines can cause.

The service, which went into effect August 6, is intended to help customers to manage their materials without incurring minor, unnecessary fines. Customers are still always encouraged to return items before their due date so they can be available for other readers.

Items that are eligible will be automatically renewed up to three times for customers in good standing. For most books that means the 21-day checkout period is extended an extra 21 days, up to three times.

Customers who have a current email address and have signed up for email notifications will receive a verification email when an item is renewed. Those without a current email still will have items automatically renewed but will not be notified. Email addresses can be updated by visiting or contacting any of the system’s 12 libraries in Cleveland, McClain or Pottawatomie counties.

There are a few limitations to the service. Items on hold for another customer cannot be renewed, and the service only applies to physical items in the library collection and not Overdrive materials, eBooks or materials from database vendors. Also, book discussion kits, interlibrary loan items and “sizzlers,” which are high-demand new books, are among items that will not be automatically renewed.

Libraries such as the Topeka and Shawnee County Library Systems in Kansas, Fort Worth Public Libraries in Texas and the Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis have instituted similar policies and report successes.