Pasco County Libraries has joined a national trend and no longer imposes fines on overdue library materials.
The new policy kicked in on Feb. 10.
The timing also coincides with Library Lovers Month, according to a Pasco County news release.
Materials borrowed from the county’s library system will continue to have a due date, but the fines associated for bringing them back late will no longer apply.
Dropping the fines actually saves the library system a substantial amount of money, the system reports.
In Fiscal Year 2019, libraries collected $67,288 in overdue fines, but the administrative cost to manage and collect the fees was $386,345, according to system figures.
Besides saving $319,057, the shift in policy allows library staff to spend more time assisting customers, conducting outreach and offering enrichment programs, the news release adds.
Removing the fees also removes a barrier for some patrons.
“Fines for overdue materials can act as an inequitable barrier to service, disproportionately affecting minors, students, and community members with limited financial resources,” said Libraries Program Manager Robert Harrison. “Libraries have seen increases in return rates, borrowing and library card registrations after adopting fine-free policies.”
The new program kicks off with a “book amnesty” period from Feb. 10 through March 10, when all accumulated fines (large or small) associated with overdue materials will be forgiven once the item is returned.
In addition to loaning books and other materials, Pasco County provides a wide variety of programming.
To learn more about the fine-free policy, visit bit.ly/Fine-FreeFAQ.
For more information about Pasco County Libraries, including the library catalog, E-content, programs, events and links to all Pasco County Library branches, visit PascoLibraries.org.
Published February 12, 2020
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.