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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Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us

August 12–13, 2019
Charleston County Public Library
Charleston, SC

October 28–29, 2019
Chicago Public Library
Chicago, IL

“Libraries across the country are making stronger commitments to equitable library services for all. Librarians, library administrators, library staff, and other stakeholders are encouraged to join us to grow the collective capacity and connections we will need to do this work.

During this one-and-a-half day symposium we will explore how power and privilege operate interpersonally and institutionally; identify how oppression shows up in our communities and libraries; and learn about historical and contemporary social justice movements. Participants will hear from libraries putting equity into practice, develop regional connections, and create local action plans to advance equity and social justice in our organizations and communities.

Day one will focus on building shared language, self-awareness and historical understanding. Day two will give us the chance to learn about successful racial equity initiatives and develop action plans to catalyze or strengthen equity work in our organizations and communities.”

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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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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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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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