Effective June 1, 2019 Josephine Community Library will no longer charge fines on children and teen items, and existing fines will be waived.
“Historically, overdue fines amount to less than 0.5 percent of our budget; consequently, they have minimal impact on library operations,” said library district Vice President Jennifer Roberts. “However, these fines can have a significant impact on families. The last thing we want to do is discourage them from using the library.”
Eliminating fines ensures that all youth will have access to library books and materials and are able to participate in this year’s Summer Reading Program from June 22 through August 3.
“We hope that removing this barrier will increase participation in the Summer Reading Program,” said Library Director Kate Lasky. “This summer, we are offering teen and adult programs along with the popular children’s program so that the whole family can participate together.”
In the past 15 years, public libraries across the US, and most recently in Oregon, have investigated the efficacy of charging late fines for overdue items. Research has shown that late fines are not effective and do not have any impact on return rates. In fact, fines have the unintended consequence of preventing a community’s most vulnerable populations from using library services.
Patrons will continue to be responsible for lost and damaged materials. After 20 days, replacement costs will be charged for lost items.
For more information about the research referred to, read ‘Removing Barriers to Access: Eliminating Library Fines and Fees on Children’s Materials’ at cde.state.co.us/cdelib/removingbarrierstoaccess.