Library fines have been one of the most talked about topics in recent years in the library world. Some say they are vital, and some say they should not exist. On what side of the fence are our guests on?
Meg starts the discussion by defining the difference between two key terms in this topic; library fines and library fees. Library fines are the charges that occur when the materials are not returned on time. They tend to start out small, but grow bigger day by day, until your account gets banned. On the other hand, library fees are when patrons must pay if they have damaged or lost borrowed items. Fees can also refer to the money charged for using the copy machine/printer. The conversation in this podcast will solely be about fines.
Beth adds that libraries tend to charge late fines for three main reasons; to bring in revenue, to ensure that people bring materials back on time and to teach responsibility. However, research found that in practice, they did not accomplish the above-mentioned reasons.
Throughout their research, they found that library fines are a barrier for those who need the services the most.
To learn how exactly library fines are a barrier for potential patrons, listen to the Princh Library Lounge Episode 2.