Public library fines for overdue books are bad and gate keep many folks out of libraries.
@AudreyJune How much are the fines?
Enough that I am taking my kid to a bookstore instead.
@AudreyJune That's a lot!
As someone who grew up mostly without access to a public library system (lived outside city limits, bookmobile funding dried up), it seems to me that whatever you can manage to do to get your kid back in there is worth it.
If it helps, I have a degree in library science and can assure you that the librarians are not judging you, just following policy.
But, also, whatever you decide to do, no shame! Just keep those books flowing kidward! 💚 📚 💚
I didn’t give a fuck if they judged me. I said “that’s absurd” and walked away.
We went to Half-priced books and found 3 of the books he was going to check out and will spend a fraction of the late charges.
The most frustrating part is that the books that were late never even got read.😔
I mean. I created my own problem at least, it’s just...fines didn’t get me to bring the book back sooner, but it is going to keep me from using the library.
@AudreyJune yeah they've threatened to call a collection agency on me several times on different occasions throughout the years. Like taking out books is actually kind of scary for me b/c I know I probably won't be able to return them on time, thx to executive dysfunction & EDS
@AudreyJune i'm too sloshy rn, but there was thisnone post on tunglr by a librarian from a library that /eliminated dues/ and the library /benefitted from it/ and got books back from /other districts/ tru stori
Oh yeah, there is a massive belief and movement to eliminate library fines because basically everywhere it’s been tried they recognized that it was never effective anyway.
abolishing library fines
@AudreyJune Yep. The San Francisco library is moving to abolish fines, on just the reasoning you've outlined - they don't provide a meaningful incentive to return things on time, but do disproportionately affect those with less disposable income.
"This means that the more than 17,000 local patrons whose accounts were previously blocked due to accumulated overdue fines (which was automatic once a fine of $10 was accrued) will once again be free to check out library materials. And the 157,000 library patrons — some 35 percent of the library’s users — who owe late fees will now be in the clear. Among those owing money, the average tab was $23."
"“We’ve been a library for 140 years, and fines haven’t really changed people’s behavior,” she said. “There are a lot of people who return their books on time, and a lot of people who don’t.”"
@AudreyJune im no expert but. on the one hand i absolutely agree that fines are always disproportionately harmful to poor folks and that's Terrible. on the other, as a free public service during capitalism libraries are under constant fire, and simultaneously pulling in a bit of extra funding and disincentivize keeping material out of circulation seems Helpful. idk how it is other places but my library's fines are "25¢ a day capped at $10" per item which seems Reasonable to me? but. bleh
I am really not in the mood to debate this. I am actually really angry and bitter about it, which I think my other posts made really clear, and I don’t appreciate you coming into my mentions and playing devil’s advocate.
If you want to educate yourself on this topic, I offer this hastily assembled set of links:
@AudreyJune alright, fair enough. sorry to upset you, and thanks for the links. ill get to reading
@AudreyJune mine partially eliminated fees, but they did it in a really misleading way that I wish they'd clarify. it says "no late fines on youth material (with the exception of lost or damaged items)" but what it means is if you're a minor (presumably checking out youth material) you don't incur late fees.
If you're an adult checking out youth material: oh boy late fees!
@lapis yeah. That would not work at my city library where my kid is too young to have their own card.
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.