06 September 2018

"Reading away" library fines

Some library systems are modifying their long-standing policies on fines for overdue materials.  I thought this innovation was particularly apt:
So on Thursday, Leilany went to the East Los Angeles Library, a county facility, to read off $4 in late fees. Students can eliminate debt at a rate of $5 an hour under a program that took effect in June...
In an era where screen time dominates the lives of children, librarians and others haven't given up on instilling a love of books and libraries. They also want to make sure there isn’t a “library gap” between the more prosperous and the poor. The program for “reading away” library debt is especially important because the cost of damaged or lost materials can be high.
A library debt of $10 results in suspended borrowing privileges. Since “Read Away” went into effect, the county library system has cleared 3,500 blocked accounts, said Darcy Hastings, the county’s assistant library administrator for youth services.

Even fines of 15 cents a day per book can push children away.
When charges accrue on a young person’s account, generally, they don’t pay the charges and they don’t use the card,” Hastings said. “A few dollars on their accounts means they stop using library services.”
Further details at the Los Angeles Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...