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Library Goes Fine Free

January 1 2022

The Bonnyville Municipal Library is excited to announce we're going fine free beginning January 1, 2022.

 

What does this mean for you, the library patrons?

  • You are still expected to renew your books as needed, due dates still stand - other people may be waiting for those items.
  • Any existing fines prior to January 1, 2022 are still owing.
  • New fines will not be accrued/accumulated as of January 1, 2022.
  • Replacement costs for any lost or damaged items will still exist and need to be paid in those situations.

 

We are so happy to be able to remove this barrier for all current and future library users.

 

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Wondering about the reason behind the Fine Free switch? Read this quote from a library news article:

Why go fine-free? More and more library professionals contend that charging overdue fines undermines the mission of libraries to provide free and equitable access to information so that all citizens may educate themselves. They argue that fines are a barrier to access, especially for low-income families, and can create adversarial relationships between customers and library staff members. Even worse, patrons who are ashamed of their overdue fines or financially unable to pay them may stop using the library entirely.

Sarah Houghton, director of San Rafael Public Library in California, tells American Libraries that fines are especially discouraging to “those in the community who could most benefit from library services.” She argues that the library’s role is not to teach personal responsibility, as some might suggest, but “to encourage lifelong learning, exploration and innovation.”

 

Quoted text from this article: Not So Fine with Library Fines? A Look at the Overdue Debate (ebsco.com)

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