Starting in September, Jackson District Library Does Away With Fines
We've all been there, be that at the library, the video store, etc. where you know you have to return them, forget, then keep forgetting until you go to borrow or rent a book or movie or what-have-you only to be informed you have a late fee.
It's not that you wanted to forget and maybe your subconscious is making you "forget" because you're nervous about that inevitable late fee you know you'll be confronted with.
Well, Jackson District Library (JDL) is joining a movement of libraries around the country going fine-free.
Implementing "Fine-Free" in Libraries Across the U.S.
According to NPR, eliminating fines at public libraries serves as a way to "eliminate inequity."
"Library users with limited income tend to stay away from libraries because they may be afraid of incurring debt," Ramiro Salazar, president of the American Library Association's public library division told NPR. "It stands to reason these same users will also stay away if they have already incurred a fine simply because they don't have the money to pay the fine."
Basically, some public library users worry about getting fines they cannot afford only for that "debt" to accrue to the point they either cannot pay or get their borrowing privileges suspended.
Now, according to NPR, libraries in cities like Chicago who have implemented this fine-free change have not only seen a staggering increase in their return rates but also more and more people are renewing library cards.
JDL Goes Fine-Free Too
Jackson District Library Director, Sara Tackett, told FOX 47 that they have been seeing more and more people bringing back the books they borrow.
Tackett said that not only do the fines not really do much when it comes to encouraging the return of materials on time but they don't really even make the library any kind of substantial money...despite what many believe.
"What fines do is prevent access for patrons who cannot afford to pay those fines," Tackett added. "We wanted to remove as many barriers to access as possible, especially for our patrons who struggle financially."
Still SOME Sort of Penalty For Late, Lost or Damaged Materials
As is commonplace among libraries since their foundation, if you borrow a library book you are supposed to bring it back...so, while there will not be monetary fines in place for not returning borrowed materials, FOX 47 reports, "officials will be blocking a patron's account until they return the items."
Of course if you lose or damage library property, you will be asked to pay for that but otherwise, this fine-free thing seems like such a great idea. Especially if it gets more people into libraries and being responsible with the books/materials they borrow.
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