[Libs-Or] Fine Free Libraries

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org
Fri Jan 25 11:52:04 PST 2019


That's a big topic, and one I'm addressing with several other libraries at a session at OLA-WLA in April!

But basically, the nutshell is this:

Studies have shown that overall, daily overdue fines don't prompt people to return items any sooner. They do, however, present a barrier for people to using the library -- especially children and people on low or fixed income. People who can readily afford a daily charge to keep an item longer will tend to keep the item and then pay the fine because it relieves guilt; people who can't pay won't use the library at all. Also, anecdotally, when we conducted a major fine amnesty a few years ago, we found that many people hadn't been using the library because they THOUGHT they had fines and were ashamed, when in reality they owed a very small amount or didn't owe anything at all. This experience is borne out in the research that's been conducted so far.

As far as valuing the collection and such, our patrons do still receive overdue notices, and if the item is severely overdue (six weeks in our case), they receive a bill in the mail for the cost of the item. Once the item is returned, that bill is eliminated. Patron accounts are still blocked if they have severely overdue items they haven't returned.

The Colorado State Library recently produced a wonderful white paper on the concept, particularly as it pertains to children's materials. You can access it here: http://hermes.cde.state.co.us/drupal/islandora/object/co%3A25676


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Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, MLIS
LIBRARY DIRECTOR

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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City of Lincoln City  |  Driftwood Public Library
801 SW Hwy 101  |  PO Box 50  |  Lincoln City, OR
P: 541.996.1251  |  E: kbrodbeck-kenney at lincolncity.org
W: Driftwoodlib.org | W: LincolnCity.org

From: Libs-Or <libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us> On Behalf Of Rita J Radford
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:34 AM
To: Diedre Conkling <diedre08 at gmail.com>; libs-or at listsmart. osl. state. or. us <libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Fine Free Libraries


Will someone please explain to me the advantage of "fine-free"?  In my thinking it removes responsibility from the patron and cheapens the value of our collections. This is only the second time I've heard of this concept so perhaps I don't have the whole picture.

In the dark,
Rita Radford
Riddle City Library


On January 25, 2019, at 10:20 AM, Diedre Conkling <diedre08 at gmail.com<mailto:diedre08 at gmail.com>> wrote:

I just noticed that not all of the Oregon libraries without fines are on this map,
https://endlibraryfines.info/fine-free-library-map/

--
Diedre Conkling
diedre08 at gmail.com<mailto:diedre08 at gmail.com>

“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.”―Maya Angelou
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