I remember that there was a big discussion when this article about library fines came out last year, but I was wondering what has happened since? I have a friend at a large-ish library in Vermont who is thinking about trying to push for the elimination of fines at her library. She is looking for anecdotes but also data from libraries who have previously had fines and then eliminated them, data she can take to her board. I think it’s pretty easy to say “Well we lost $3,000 but we made it up in goodwill!” but in some cases 3K is not an amount you can afford to lose when you can’t pay the propane bill with goodwill. I have a few starter questions.
– Do you have different fines for different media?
– Do you have a grace period after the due date but before fines are levied?
– Does it make sense to remove fines but still bill for lost/damaged books?
– Do you have a “conscience jar” and if so, do people use it?
– Do you think fines really encourage people to bring materials back on time?
– Do you think removing fines meant that you got fewer materials back on time?
– Do you think having a catalog that allowed people to place holds on checked-out materials lessens the need for fines?
So, please feel free to leave some links and stories in the comments so that I can help my friend help her library. Thank you.