In announcing the new policy, the library said its board of trustees “is dedicated to creating a library that is more open, equitable and understanding of our community,” and explained that “eliminating fines for overdue materials means more people in our community have greater access to the Library’s vital materials, resources and services.”
“The simple fact that the library community knows well is that fines are an antiquated notion that doesn’t work… New Yorkers and people throughout the country love and trust their library—they understand it’s a public good, they respect it, and they bring their books back.”
“Every day is a day for learning. Chicagoans need and deserve access to information and technology every day of the week. Adding Sunday hours in libraries across the city is an important step in our commitment to equity and access,” said CPL Commissioner Chris Brown. “Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership and support for expanded Sunday hours has been instrumental in bringing this opportunity to all Chicagoans.”
Over the past year, 158 unsheltered people were provided temporary shelter at the Red Roof Inn. During this period, the City and its partners were able to help 42 people transition to permanent housing. Given the success in connecting people to permanent housing through the homeless shelter at the Red Roof Inn, the City of Asheville is proposing a project to continue that work.
Asheville City Council is expected to review and consider approval of this property purchase and funding for operations at their 5 p.m. August 24 Council meeting. If this project is approved by City Council, the City will purchase the Ramada Inn property and budget funds for operations. Funding for this project is proposed through key partnerships and federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“Equal and equitable access to information is a core value of libraries,” said Director of Libraries Eva Poole. “Removing overdue fines from youth accounts is a first step in removing economic barriers to accessing library materials, especially for children who may need us the most. Inability to pay fines may prevent families from returning materials or visiting the library at all. The goal is to get the materials back into our collection, and to encourage families to continue using the library.”
“What’s important is that people use their libraries. We want to make sure that our community has access to the materials and services we provide,” said a statement from the BCLS. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not charged any overdue fines so patrons had one less thing to worry about, so we are already positioned to join the many other libraries across the state who are fine free. Fines account for less than one-half of one percent of our revenues.”