I don’t often try to get into conversations about libraries with the general public but it still happens. Recently it was dÃ©jÃ vu all over again when I heard:
“A year ago I was using the library all of the time. I’d start going again if I didn’t have to pay those fines I racked up.”
If I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard this, I think I could pay off everyone’s library fines! Seriously!
Fines make so little sense to me that I find it hard to believe libraries are still bothering. I’d really like for there to be a “Let’s get rid of fines” movement, so in the spirit of that I’ve created a page called Anti Fines Here’s a little chicklet that you can display on your website if you’re interested in pursuing this with me.
Here’s what I put on the page so far, but I’m hoping that interested parties will work with me developing some more content.
Why does collecting fines hurt libraries?
Fines are a barrier to providing service.
How will we get our items back into the library?
Consider implementing a “no overdue” policy in which patrons that have even one item overdue (that can’t be renewed) can’t check out any more library materials.
How can I get my library to stop collecting fines?
In most cases you’ll have to show that the money you’re bringing in via fines isn’t worth the staff time it takes to collect them. You could also take a survey of your patrons and see what *they* have to say. The lack of revenue and negative attention drawn to the library should be sufficient reason to stop