Something Amazing is Vanishing from the Beacon Library
Book buffs, library nerds and cheapskates alike, it's time to celebrate... Howland Public Library in Beacon, NY recently made an announcement that everybody can appreciate.
Howland Public Library in Beacon, NY is Now "Fine-Free"
The big (and unexpected) news is that the library will now be "fine-free", meaning that there will be no more late charges for nearly anything that was borrowed. In a press release, they shared some fascinating statistics that led to their decision, and what it will mean for library patrons.
Libraries Without Late Fees in New York
"Research has shown that fines do not prevent patrons from returning books late, but they do create barriers to service", said Kristen Salierno, director of the Howland Public Library. Salierno also shared that late charges (roughly $1,000 was collected last year) are such a nominal part of the library's budget that getting rid of the fees will have nearly no financial impact. So does this mean books are just... free?
How a Fine-Free Library Works
No. In fact, the library has planned a very thorough solution to their late fee elimination. Books (as well as audio CDs, DVDs and more) will still have due dates to be returned. If no one else requests your borrowed item, your borrowing time may be automatically renewed. After a certain length of time, however, the item will garner a "replacement fee". Patrons must have a replacement fee balance of under $10 to continue to borrow from the library. And don't fret if you don't live in Beacon, because Howland isn't the only local fine-free library in the area.
There are over 50 libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System that have gone fine-free, including Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, NY, Blodgett Memorial Library in Fishkill, NY, and more. Find the full list here.