San Francisco Public Library Set to Write Off More Than $1.5 Million in Overdue Fines

“The San Francisco Public Library Commission has already recommended eliminating library fines, but on Thursday it voted to forgive existing fines as well.

The decision comes as the San Francisco Public Library is on the verge of a new fine-free chapter, after officially recognizing the punitive practice creates an ‘unfair barrier to access, which disproportionately impacts residents of lower socioeconomic status.'”

The San Francisco Public Library is likely to forgive more than $1 million in overdue fines owed by nearly 250,000 patrons.

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Boulder Library to End Late Fees in March

Etta Mazzone was happy to find a unicorn in a book she was reading with her mother, Elizabeth Wright, Friday during story time at the Boulder Public Library. The library, which already does not charge late fees on children's materials, will eliminate all late fees starting March 1. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)
Etta Mazzone was happy to find a unicorn in a book she was reading with her mother, Elizabeth Wright, Friday during story time at the Boulder Public Library. The library, which already does not charge late fees on children’s materials, will eliminate all late fees starting March 1. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

“Late fees will be no more after March 1. The library commission on Dec. 5 voted to do away with the fees in the hopes of increasing patronage. The threat of overdue costs discourages library use by younger and lower-income residents, ‘the people who need (the library) the most,’ said commissioner Joni Teter.”

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Berkeley Public Library Expands Access to Resources for Homeless People

Leonie Leonida file

“Residents who previously experienced obstacles in obtaining access to Berkeley Public Library resources and items will no longer face this issue with the implementation of a new Easy Access Card, which allows those without a permanent address to use and check out library resources.”

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Richland Library Wants to Help People Understand What Being Homeless is Like

“In recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Richland Library is asking you to spend a few moments in the life of someone who can no longer afford a home.

The library offers the My Life Experience Empathy Lab, which uses virtual technology and simulation tools to see things from a new perspective.”

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Undesign the Redline

Undesign the Redline interactive exhibit

Howard County Library System (HCLS) is offering an interactive exhibit called, Undesign the Redline. “This exhibit explores the history of structural racism and classism, how these designs compounded each other from redlining maps until today, and how we can come together to undesign these systems with intentionality.”

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LA’s Homeless Get More Help in Wake of I-Team Reports on Libraries

“Some branches of the LA Public Library are also expanding their ‘Source‘ program, which holds monthly events at neighborhood branches to link the homeless with various social services, including emergency housing programs, drug and mental health treatment, and emergency relief. At Durant Library this past week, a record number of people lined up for hours to attend the Source event.

Head Librarian John Frank says his branch got an infusion of public money to expand this event, after the I-Team’s reports.

‘The reports raised awareness of the plight of the different populations in the library, and they’ve inspired some people to help us out and give us a little more money,’ said Frank. ‘It’s made a big difference.'”

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Redwood City: Library Takes Novel Approach to Breaking Stereotypes

“‘Our intention is to provide opportunities for dialogue and getting to know people on a different level,’ said Derek Wolfgram, Redwood City library director. ‘It’s really an invitation for people to get to know their fellow community members. … It’s easy to demean someone when you don’t know anyone like them.’

The experiment, The Human Library, was developed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000, as an outgrowth of a youth organization called Stop the Violence. Stop the Violence was founded by a group of Copenhagen teens to raise awareness about a rise in violence against immigrants, particularly teens, after one of their peers was stabbed to death in 1993.

Wolfgram said the library decided to make the Human Library part of its ongoing Community Conversations series to celebrate Redwood City’s diversity and the aspiration of the city to be a welcoming and inclusive place.”

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