Fines and Fees

If you are new to working in a library, or would like a refresher on a particular topic, this document is intended for you. It is intended to be a helpful reference, but nothing beats that hands-on experience. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first few times. If you have additional questions, there are always people to ask for help — start with your coworkers who regularly use Sierra or contact the Mid-Hudson Library System (

Logging in to Sierra

Sierra is the name of the Library software that you will use to perform the main operations of library Circulation like checking in and out items, renewing, and much more. You should already have a Sierra login to get you started –

Find the Sierra Icon and double click on it.

 Log in using your Username and Password. Libraries can have multiple initials, with different levels of authority, so if you are unsure of what username and password to use, just ask your supervisor or coworkers. If you are using a shared computer, do not select “Remember me on this computer”.

Fines and Fees: Everyone returns things late to the library once in a while.

  1. To open the patron’s record, select “Check Out (Circulation Desk)” from the top functions drop down menu.
  1. You will begin just as you do when you check out or renew items — by opening the patron’s record. Just enter the patron’s library card’s barcode or type their name (n last name, first name) into the “Key or Scan Patron Barcode” box.
  1. Once in the patron’s record, if the patron owes fines, it should be indicated on the “Fines” tab in the left vertical menu. The tab will be red and the total amount will be listed. Click on the “Fines” Tab and look in the center table to view the reasons for and amounts of the charges.
  1. Select the fine(s) the patron paid/is paying off. You can select items individually or all at once by clicking “All”. Click “Collect Money” once you have collected the money for the patron’s fines.
  1. Enter the amount of money paid into the pop-up window. The full amount owed will appear in the amount to collect box, but you can collect a partial payment by changing the numbers by typing in the new amount. Click OK.
  1. If the patron pays a partial amount, you will be given the option to Waive the remaining amount.

You can enter the Payment Data – the payment type (such as Cash or Readaway) and any note if applicable.

You will then be asked if you would like to print a receipt. To print select OK, to cancel select cancel.

  1. To Waive the fine select the fine(s) you want to waive and then click “Waive Charges” and answer “Yes”. The selected fine(s) will vanish.

Be sure to check with your library’s policies before waiving fines.

Fines Paid
This is a nice feature that documents the fines paid or waived for your patron. Under the “Fines” Tab, click the “Fines Paid” button to view the patrons fine history.

A pop-up window appears to show you the history of “Fines Paid” by the patron. Click on an item in the table, and then click on “View Fine” or View Item” buttons to view more details about the “Fines Paid”.