Fine (and Fee) Service

According to the article “Overdue library materials sparking online shutdowns” Waco-McLennan County Library system patrons are now fobidden to use library computers if they have $5 or more in fines on their account. Later in the article someone asks the proverbial question: But what about the children? Why does this has to come up before such an action is questioned. Why isn’t anyone asking the question “Why are our libraries having to survive on fines and fees?” Are they? Are they?

One comment

  1. Did I read the article correctly – did an adult patron actually present as an excuse for racking up overdue fines the lack of an obviously-placed reminder slip? And then did this same rule-breaking adult patron blame her daughter’s lack of library use on a policy designed to encourage people to pay money that they legitimately owe? I understand that libraries are a free service to the public (as free as any other tax-based community amenity). I also get that libraries want to encourage patrons of all ages to come in, sit down, check it out and read. But patrons need to understand that using the public library is a relationship just like all others – it requires two responsible, responsive parties in order to work. In my opinion, overdue fines are a small price to pay for what is a pretty amazing public amenity. Can’t get your books back on time? Can’t afford the $25 fine because you aren’t responsible enough to bring back your book for 170 days? I say you deserve jail time.

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