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  • Pickerington Public Library to Eliminate Overdue Fines!

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    November 13, 2017
    Pickerington Public Library to eliminate overdue fines
    beginning November 23, 2017

    Pickerington—The Pickerington Public Library (PPL) Board of Trustees has approved a resolution to eliminate overdue fines on all borrowed materials beginning November 23, 2017. (Note: All PPL locations will be closed on November 23, 2017.)
    Historically, Libraries instituted fines for overdue materials as an incentive to see those items returned by their due dates. The library has taken steps in recent years, to minimize the impact of overdue fines on customers. In 2014, daily fine rates on audiovisual materials were reduced; Auto-renewal was implemented, as were fine-exempt Kids Cards.

    Rather than imposing fines for overdue items, PPL will defer to its longstanding policy of blocking library cards of patrons who have materials 30 days or more overdue. This block prevents the patron from checking out more physical items until the long overdue materials have been returned. Additionally, if an overdue item is not returned 30 days after its due date, it is deemed lost and the patron is charged a replacement fee. That fee would be removed if and when the Patron returns the item. PPL will continue to use regular patron notices to see overdue materials returned and a materials recovery agency to pursue debts from lost or damaged items.   
    “This change allows us remove a financial barrier for some patrons, while still holding library users accountable for materials they borrow.” said Library Director Tony Howard.  It will also increase access to materials, create a more positive patron experience and save staff time and costs associated with fines.  The library’s hope is that now more books will end up in the hands of more people – especially young readers.  
    Patrons with cards blocked for long overdue materials are still able to access eBooks, reserve meeting rooms, and use public PCs and other library services.
    PPL does not rely on the revenue generated from overdue fines.
    Patrons with existing overdue fines will still be required to pay them, as these fines cannot be removed from all customer accounts in bulk. However, PPL Administration will be instituting creative approaches to help those patrons with outstanding fines.
    Within the last decade, industry trends have shifted on the subject of overdue fines and library professionals have questioned whether they are an effective method for motivating customers. Examples of local libraries that have eliminated overdue fines include: Delaware County District Library), and Worthington Libraries (since October 2016), Columbus Metropolitan Library (since January 2017), Bexley Public Library (Since July 2017) and Westerville Library (since August 2017)
    As Thanksgiving is celebrated this year, a sincere Thank You is offered to the Pickerington and Violet Township community for their continued support.  And if you haven’t been by for a while, stop in and see what’s new at  Pickerington Public Library Main or Sycamore Plaza Library. On behalf of the Pickerington Public Library Board of Trustees and staff, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
    Colleen Bauman, Community Services Coordinator
    (614) 837-4104 x5