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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Art at Peoria Public Library Gives Homeless a Voice

“Ford’s interactive display allows library visitors, many of them homeless, to express themselves anonymously. Panels hanging from the ceiling ask visitors ‘What do you need? What can you give?’ Paper, pens, and a drop box allow visitors to answer. Ford periodically empties the box and pins the responses on the five panels in the display.

She’s been surprised by what people have said. The vast majority didn’t ask for money or housing or food — they asked for empathy.”

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Proposal to Triple Rents for Poorest Households Would Hurt Single Mothers the Most

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

“The proposal by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to at least triple the minimum rent that the poorest Americans pay for federally subsidized housing would put nearly 1 million children at risk of homelessness, according to an analysis of HUD data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).”

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Finding Homes, Jobs for Homeless Youth

David Hewitt, director of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s Office To End Homelessness, at the kickoff for Hennepin County’s 100-day campaign to get 150 homeless youths permanent housing and jobs.

“During a 100-day challenge that ended Nov. 8, a coalition of 30 public, private and nonprofit groups set the ambitious goal of moving 150 young people from homelessness to more stable situations. But they exceeded their benchmark by finding housing and/or employment for 236 local teens and young adults.”

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Empty Pockets, Broken Spirits: Poverty’s Impact Reaches Far Beyond Money

“It’s like if you don’t go into an area that’s poor, you don’t understand or appreciate the area that’s poor,” City Councilman John Garland, a native Roanoker, said during the kickoff meeting at the Jackson Park Library in Southeast Roanoke.

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How are the Kids?

“The biggest challenge in an era of increasing inequality in income and wealth is the widening gulf between children growing up in strong, economically secure families within thriving communities and children who are not. Although African-American and Latino children continue to fall disproportionately into the latter group, a greater share of children of all racial and ethnic groups are facing conditions that can impede their long-term success.” Kids Count Data Book 2014

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