Why eliminate fines?
  • Fines serve as an economic barrier that impedes access to library materials and services for financially disadvantaged people within our community, particularly children.
  • Overdue fines often prevent parents from allowing their children to take out large numbers of items.
  • Patrons who are blocked stop using the Library.
  • Patrons who are blocked as children/teens often come back to the library as adults, but because the block does not go away (as long as they remain living in central or western Massachusetts), patrons are deterred from becoming library patrons once again, and if they have children, those children are prevented from becoming patrons. This affects early literacy.
  • In our experience, overdue fines are not what teaches children the importance of returning their books. Statistics show that in libraries where overdue fines are not charged, patrons of all ages continue to respect the fact that library books belong to all citizens and therefore returning them on time is an important civic duty.
  • Data shows that the number of library card holders increases when overdue fines are eliminated, circulation increases, and voluntary donations to the library increase when overdue fines are eliminated.

Show All Answers

1. Why eliminate fines?
2. What happens if I don’t bring materials back by the due date?
3. What if materials don’t come back?
4. Has the library eliminated replacement fees?
5. Will it take longer to fulfill holds?
6. How will the library replace revenue from fines?
7. What about other libraries’ materials?
8. I liked paying fines! How can I support the Jones Library now?
9. Do you have a question not answered here?