No More Overdue Fines on Kid, Teen Materials

Beginning Jan. 9, 2017, PPLD will no longer charge fines on overdue children and teen items. Removing overdue fines will provide greater opportunity for children and teens to use the full range of library services. Currently, 15% of children and teen cardholders are blocked from checking out items at the library due to overdue fines.

Also, overdue fines on DVDs and games will be reduced from 25 cents per day to 10 cents per day.

PPLD seeks to foster literacy and life-long learning for children and teens. The Library regularly evaluates policies to see what barriers for service exist and evaluates how to eliminate such barriers. The Library’s Board of Trustees approved the new policy at their December meeting.

Items that will not accrue overdue fines must be designated as “juvenile” or “teen” in the Library catalog. The policy will take effect for any items checked out January 9 or after. Lost item and damage fees will still apply.

Overdue notices will still be sent as reminders to return Library items. Items not returned within 21 days of the due date will be considered lost, and the full cost of the item will be charged to the patron’s account.

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We believe it is up to parents and guardians to instill values such as responsibility. We are attempting to remove obstacles that prevent access to our resources.

The decision to eliminate fees only on these materials was made because these items are the most crucial to early childhood development. In general, younger and at-risk families are less likely to be able to pay the fines and they frequently cease coming to the Library when fines accrue.

Many other libraries have done this to encourage young readers and their families. Reading habits are important to develop early and can help people succeed in school and life. The barrier of fines prevents some members of our community, especially young families, from accessing our collection.

Items that are not returned will prevent patrons from checking out more materials until the overdue items are either returned or paid for. If they are long overdue, we continue to partner with a collection agency to assist us in getting them returned or paid for.

certain amount each year????

Having lived and PAID TAXES HERE SINCE 1992 -- should not Senior Citizens get some kind of 'break' on fines, etc.... Seems we pay and pay, and pay and pay ......should not we get some relief ...... guess not ...... just teens, etc.... Go figure.....

The library isn't taking away fines for teens/children. They are taking the fines off items labeled as Juvenile. (kids)

I was surprised to see criticism on this wonderful decision. When my children were small we would often check out 50 little young reader and board books at a time. Paying late fees because my children got sick and returning books didn't happen would cause late fees shoot through the roof quickly. Sometimes it took months to afford the fees in our budget. We would have books baskets and shelves esspecailly for library books, but the truth is children are still little and the reality of libraries fees is a constant with many responsible moms and dads, in a very hectic season of life. My dyslexic child, now almost a teenager, is an avid reader and highly intelligent. I am so very thankful for such a rich wealth of literature and fun and innovative programs at ppld. Reading can help children succeed in school, in life, and increase self-esteem. Better children grow into better adults. Library materials are loaned for free, so a child's book kept 1 day or 5 weeks doesn't have an impact on our local taxes. I think the previous complaint posted holds very little weight. Might I suggest A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, on these people's reading list. Thank you Pikes Peak for being truly one of the best libraries in our spectacular nation! Hats off to you!

I agree, Jeanette!
I often volunteer in my daughter's classroom, and many of the kids truly can't afford even the essentials. If their families accrued ANY book fine, it would be the end of library time for them, and these families need this service the most. They are definitely not at Barnes and Noble building up a home library! Thank you, PPLD!

Policy doesn't teach discipline and responsibility. Over due should be handled on case by case basis but shouldn't be open.

I teach at-risk teens who have often not read a book at age 15 for 6 or more years. This significantly impacts their ability to read complex texts, participate in community improvement, and comprehending how a community operates and transforms itself. The reason the teen usually states for lack of reading is primarily because a book was not returned on-time. Sometimes because the child fell in love and wanted to reread the text and others because chaos at home and a child trying to cope temporarily lost the text. The story is that they couldn't return the text - children rely on parents for this task - who else has the transportation to get the child to the library and embarrassment and shame by both child and parent prevent them from ways to reconcile the situation and continue pursuing information. This means the world suddenly shrinks to what the child can see around them. Their ability to explore worlds, thinking, and stories they can't see diminishes along with the child's understanding of the opportunities available.

This policy still holds the parent and child responsible to return to the book or pay the cost of replacement. Still, it allows the child time to learn the importance of shared resources in a community and engage in the joy of learning through reading and media sources. I don't see any losers in this. Some of those who are critical in this posting have forgotten how long it took them to learn lessons in life - both as child and adult. They also forget how the community needs all citizens engaged and interested in finding a place within a community for the whole citizenry to function safely in a place where contentment, happiness, and personal ambitions can be accomplished.

Kudos to the Trustees for exercising their community responsibility to allow a policy that supports learning and community interactions for all ages.

So no overdue fines, but after 21 days item is considered lost and full cost charged? Does that get waived if the item is later returned? Does that apply to kids and teens or is that exempt?

Preventing an 8 year old from checking out a book because he hasn't paid a fine is not teaching the 8 year old responsibility. The 8 year old doesn't drive, doesn't have a job, doesn't know how to get to the library and doesn't know the due date. Also, plenty of people are responsible who just don't have any money. Responsible people may not use the library at all for fear of incurring fines. Fines are not designed as a revenue generator for the municipality. They are punitive. There's no need to charge a fine because a book is over due by a couple of days. It's better to get the book back than to collect the fine.

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