Fort Erie, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Pelham Public Libraries have eliminated overdue fines on children’s materials! The Boards of Directors of these systems have implemented this new policy to help remove barriers to access. There will be no overdue fines on any children’s materials at any of these libraries as of today.
Many public libraries across North America have implemented a similar policy and the elimination of overdue fines in libraries has had several positive outcomes:
- Increased patron access to materials and services
- Reduced inequitable impact of overdue fines
- Improved patron relationships with their library
- Optimized library staff time and increased staff efficiency
As one mother of three children expressed, “Sometimes we would take out fewer books because I was so concerned about fines. Now we will be less limited when we come to the library”. Libraries have always been the ‘great equalizer’: every individual that walks through the door has the same rights regardless of income, background or ability. Doing away with overdue fines for children’s materials ensures that families or children using the library independently will feel comfortable taking out as many great books, DVDs or CDs as they want. While the libraries have eliminated overdue fines for children’s materials, users are still responsible for fees associated with the replacement of lost or damaged books and other materials they check out.
As we celebrated Family Literacy in January, the message is that early literacy is key to supporting student success and lifelong learning. These public libraries have just taken another step towards that goal and made it easier to borrow the books, movies and music that families need.
For more information: Please contact your Public Library in Fort Erie, Lincoln, Niagara on the Lake and Pelham or Craig Shufelt, Chair, Libraries in Niagara Cooperative, firstname.lastname@example.org