The End of Overdue Fines? » Public Libraries Online

Source: The End of Overdue Fines? » Public Libraries Online

Eliminate all barriers to access for all.

So glad this article was published.  I have worked in several libraries that do not charge overdue fines but instead have had a conscious jar on the counter, so that if a patron wants to make a small donation they can.  This money really adds up and because of the nature of the donation the revenue is added to the library donations fund.  Some think this is just a sneaky way to take the fine money from the town general fund but it really is more about not taking punitive measures against patrons.  The same goes for other fines such as lost library cards.  One library I worked in charged $5 for a lost card when the card really only cost the library less than .50!  For many people $5 is a lot of money, so what are we going to do?  Prohibit them from using the library?  If you have to have fines and fees then  charge a minimal amount.  I think most people return books on time and by not charging fees we can remind them that libraries in fact rely on the good of the community to serve the community.  Then we can always suggest someone can make a donation if it makes them feel better about keeping a book past due.


About Rural Librarian

Librarian, Mother, Artist, Gardner trying to make the world a better place
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