[Libs-Or] Speaking of library fines

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 28 12:14:48 PST 2019

This morning ALA Council passed this resolution:

2018-2019 ALA CD#38 (Rev.1/27)

2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity

Whereas monetary fines present an economic barrier to access of library
materials and services;

Whereas there is mounting evidence that indicates eliminating fines
increases library card adoption and library usage;

Whereas monetary fines create a barrier in public relations, and absorb
valuable staff time applying, collecting, and managing dues;

Whereas the first policy objective listed in ALA Policy B.8.10 (Library
Services to the Poor) as approved by ALA Council on January 27, 2019, states
that the American Library Association shall implement these objectives
by “Promoting
the removal of barriers to library and information services, particularly
fees, and overdue charges”;

Whereas ALA Policy B.4.2 (Free Access to Information) “asserts that the
charging of fees and levies for information services, including those
services utilizing the latest information technology, is discriminatory in
publicly supported institutions providing library and information services”;

Whereas in Economic Barriers to Information Access, An Interpretation of
the Library Bill of Rights, ALA states “All library policies and
procedures, particularly those involving fines, fees, or other user
charges, should be scrutinized for potential barriers to access;

Whereas libraries will need to take determined and pragmatic action to
dismantle practices of collecting monetary fines

Whereas libraries of all types are responsive to bodies, be they school
districts, boards of trustees, college and university administration, or
government entities and therefore need to be able to make the case to those
bodies about eliminating fines; and

Whereas monetary fines ultimately do not serve the core mission of the
modern library; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its
1. adds a statement to the Policy Manual that establishes that “The
American Library Association asserts that imposition of monetary library
fines creates a barrier to the provision of library and information
2. urges libraries to scrutinize their practices of imposing fines on
library patrons and actively move towards eliminating them; and
3. urges governing bodies of libraries to strengthen funding support for
libraries so they are not dependent on monetary fines as a necessary source
of revenue.

Mover: Peter Hepburn, Councilor At-Large, 773.426.8082

Seconders: Matt Ciszek, Councilor At-Large, 330.397.3650

Sara Dallas, Councilor At-Large, 518.859.0742

Ed Garcia, Councilor At-Large, 401-497-8992

Version: Final.  1.27.19 4:51 PM
*Diedre Conkling*
*diedre08 at gmail.com* <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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