OThe pōtiki District Library joins an ever-growing number of libraries in New Zealand and around the world, shelving the “strange and outdated” concept of fines for late-returned books.
Opotiki Library Manager Jo Hunt said existing fines will be wiped out and no overdue fines will be issued, but payments for exchanged or damaged books will continue to be charged.
“Our library is an invaluable part of the community. Our services open the door to information and expertise for learners of all ages. We have digital literacy, a place to do homework, We support work and work places, and of course reading for joy and social connection.
“I don’t want to think for a moment that punitive measures like fines are a barrier to those who access library services.
“For libraries that are not fined at home or abroad, late fees do not motivate people to return books, but be aware that they probably have the opposite effect. Fines for their names It could be fined, “Hunt said.
Increasingly, libraries are finding fines inconsistent with what the library is aiming for-equal access to everyone’s resources and information.
Studies show that people will leave the library if they don’t want to pay the fine. This has the opposite effect of not returning the book, rather than returning it a few days late.
Hunt also pointed out that fines are not an important part of library financing and, in fact, tracking and management costs more than usual.
“The library is paid for sportsfields, playgrounds, and other facilities, so you have access to facilities that the entire community can use and benefit from.
“Of course, fines aren’t the way we fund buildings, new resources, or staff time, so we add nothing but create unnecessary barriers.
“At any given time, I probably only have a few expired books, so they’re not a serious issue,” Hunt said.
“Our way of working is to stay in close contact with the borrower. We check in, send text reminders and offer loan extensions rather than penalty fees.
Eliminating fines means that all existing and new borrowers can relax, borrow and enjoy their resources, “says Hunt.
“Old” library shelving has postponed fines
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