Chicago Public Library is Fine Free

Chicago Public Library announces they are going fine free.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (behind podium) announces the elimination of late fees throughout the Chicago Public Library (CPL) system on September 30 at Woodson Regional Library with CPL Commission Andrea Telli (center, holding paper) and American Library Association Executive Director Mary Ghikas (right). Photo: Stephanie Hlywak/American Library Association

To date, Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the largest library system in the country to go fine-free. Starting October 1, CPL will eliminate overdue fines on all CPL-owned items currently in circulation, which it said will remove barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income patrons.

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Duluth Public Library Eliminates Late Fees

“We’re moving away from a punishment model to a more positive model,” said Carla Powers, Duluth Public Library manager. “The public library is not only for people who can always remember to return things. It’s not only for people who have the capacity to pay an overdue fine.”

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Tempe Book Bike Program Aims to Boost Literacy to Underserved Communities

 

Literature on wheels
Photo by Joey Coalter | The State Press “Literature on wheels.” Illustration published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

“A Tempe Marine veteran is putting literature on two wheels to deliver library services to people who are homeless via the Tempe Book Bike Program.

The program is housed under the Tempe Public Library, which is the closest public library to ASU’s Tempe campus. The program acts as a mobile book service that allows individuals living in underserved communities to check out books without a library card.”

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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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Why a New Zealand Library’s Books Kept Vanishing, Then Reappearing

“‘It was really odd and we couldn’t quite figure it out,’ Auckland Libraries manager Rachael Rivera told The Guardian. ‘We thought someone was playing with us, or it was bored kids.’ It was only in one of their regular meetings with the library’s homeless patrons that the solution revealed itself. Unable to get library cards without an address, or fearing damage to books that they checked out, many people had been tucking their books beneath couches or under shelves so that they could return to them without losing their place.”

“‘That community really values the services we offer and treats the books with a great deal of respect,’ Rivera told the British newspaper. ‘A lot of the guys that come in are extremely well-read and have some quite eccentric and highbrow literary tastes. People are homeless for so many different reasons, and being intelligent and interested in literature doesn’t preclude that.’ The library has since established a special bookshelf behind the front desk to store books for this group of about 50 homeless readers.”

Auckland Central Library
Auckland Central Library has a vast collection of books, as well as computers with free internet access. PARENTINGPATCH/CC BY-SA 3.0

Everybody Reads Picks Evicted

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” , by Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond, will be the focal point of the Multnomah County Library’s 2017 Everybody Reads community reading program. Desmond follows eight Wisconsin families who struggle to pay their rent. The book has received much critical praise – The New York Times described it as an “unignorable book,” adding, “after ‘Evicted,’ it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty without having a serious discussion about housing.” The New Yorker excerpted it over two issues.

The library’s director, Valley Oehlke, who chose the title, called it “a very timely selection for our community.”

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