“The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library intends to soon stop fining patrons for overdue books, joining a growing national trend to support some of the most vulnerable library patrons.”
“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.”
“While libraries all over the country have followed suit on eliminating fines, [Executive Director] Jones said she believes San Diego is the only library system that has a social equity component to its matching funds policy.”
A year later, circulation has grown 1.8% citywide, with some branches seeing double-digit increases.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“Taking food away from a child in front of their peers, or limiting their access to school activities or athletics over meal debt, is downright wrong — not to mention mean,” said Cassellius.
“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.
In light of the escalating number of Americans living in poverty, and as a continuation of Tavis Smiley’s leading efforts on this issue, the Tavis Smiley Foundation’s new four-year initiative, Ending Poverty: America’s Silent Spaces, is partnering with the national anti-poverty organization RESULTS, to discuss the state of poverty as the country moves towards mid-term elections, and what actions the public can take to help address poverty including influencing public policy in local communities through their vote.
Tavis Smiley, national broadcaster, author, and advocate
Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
Marianne Williamson, author and RESULTS Board member
Angela Sutton, participant and Advisory Board Co-Chair of Witness to Hunger
April 29, 2014, 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT
To register and join the conversation: https://engage.vevent.com/rt/results~042914