Monroe County Public Library to eliminate fines, effective Mar. 1


photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Raya Haghverdi, Staff Writer

On Jan. 15th, the Monroe County Public Library’s Board of Directors approved a policy to eliminate all fines, effective Mar. 1. 

Historically, fines were used in libraries to promote responsible borrowing, as they were used as an incentive to return materials on time. However, they have resulted in a divide between the socioeconomic classes of the library’s patrons. 

“By removing the financial barrier to library use, we hope to see an increase in registered patrons and, ultimately, an increase in circulation,” said Grier Carson, MCPL’s Access and Content Manager, in an interview for the library’s blog. 

Senior Alice Ford was personally very excited to see fines disappear.

“I have personally accumulated a decent amount of fines… [now] I don’t have to worry about it,” said Ford.

However, Ford also expressed concerns about the negative impacts of having no fines in the library. 

“I worked at the [school] library as a TA, and I had to be able to take the casing off the books for donation… I know how easy it is to turn [a library book] into [your] own copy.” 

Senior Michael Betar, who doesn’t visit the library due to the distance, also liked the idea of eliminating fines.

“It is a good choice by the library since it will bring more people towards going to their public libraries,” said Betar. “If I did live closer to the library, I would definitely go more, especially because of the fact that I [wouldn’t] be fined!”

In terms of increasing access, Betar thinks that investing in a better bookmobile would be very helpful.

“I think that investing more into the bookmobile method of driving around to different areas of town with a big selection of books would be a good idea to increase access across town.” 

Overall, the library has taken a great step in increasing its accessibility to all of Monroe County. The library is certainly headed in the right direction, adding the inclusion of all socioeconomic groups along with activities promoting the diversity of race, gender, and age groups. MCPL will certainly continue to be a place for everyone.