ALA Unit/Subunit: ALA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Join us in a conversation about how library patrons are impacted by fines for overdue books and materials—and efforts to forgive or eliminate such charges—with Tony Marx (President, The New York Public Library), Beth Crist (Youth & Family Services Consultant, Colorado State Library), Tonya Olson Ferrell (Director, Yankton Community Library), and Richard Reyes-Gavilan (Executive Director, DC Public Library). Several libraries across the country have already eliminated late fees or adopted creative approaches to forgiving fines in order to ensure there is no financial barrier to access, particularly for low-income patrons. Yet the fact remains that libraries often depend on fines as an important revenue source. This discussion aims to offer insight from our panelists and participants on the impact of local efforts, and identify opportunities for further research and exploration. You’ll hear more about:
● New York City’s Fine Forgiveness, a one-time fine amnesty for children and teens;
● Research from Colorado State Library on the benefits of eliminating fines;
● DC Public Library’s elimination of daily late fees; and
● Fine elimination at Yankton County Library in South Dakota.
As The New York Public Library prepares to launch a national survey to gain a better understanding of public library system policies and attitudes toward fines, participants will have an opportunity to provide input on areas for further investigation.
Now more than ever, libraries are guardians of knowledge, information, access, and education for all. Building on the momentum of library leaders across the country who have taken action on the issue of fines, the goal of this session is to bring the library community together and continue to build knowledge and solutions that will better serve library patrons nationwide.