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Removing barriers to library services

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5c36761d6df15Children's area at Crete Public Library.
Children's area at Crete Public Library.

One of our core values at Crete Pubic Library is to provide barrier-free service and access to materials. One way that we are supporting this value is by eliminating all fines from youth print materials. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the Crete Public Library will no longer charge fines for print materials returned after their due date for YA, juvenile and children’s books – both fiction and non-fiction. 

One might try to argue that the imposition of fines is one way to teach children responsibility – in this case to be responsible for returning their books on time. 

This is a view that does not hold up well as it is usually the parent, not the child, who has the means and makes the decision as to when to return the materials to the library. 

Another argument against this policy is that patrons will no longer have an incentive to return their materials when they are due. Again, this argument does not hold water because libraries that do not charge fines tend to have higher overdue rates in the short run, but lower overdue rates in the long term. 

The imposition of fines does act as a deterrent and is a barrier to literacy and learning – in particular for members of our low-income community. Additional results from other libraries who have instituted a fine forgiveness policy is an increase in the number of borrowers and in the number of items borrowed.

All other parts of the overdue materials policy remain the same, including fines on Adult print, all DVDs and AudioBooks. (Go to library catalog) For more information about this new policy, please contact the library in person, at 402-826-3809 or view library policies online.

See other service available at Crete Public Library here.