Thea Digiammerino

Libraries Consider Dropping Late Fines For Overdue Books

The American Library Association recently released new guidance urging local libraries to stop collecting fines.

At the Bloomfield library, they are considering doing away with the policy of if you don’t bring it back on time, you pay the fine.

“It leaves people with that unsettled feeling, but more importantly it also disproportionately affects members of our society that we most want to serve," said Elizabeth Lane, library director at the Bloomfield Public Library.

Lane said it’s a social justice issue after the American Library Association released new guidance urging local libraries to stop collecting fines.

"The library does not run on that money. The library is not about making money,” Lane said. “Really it's supposed to be just a little punishment, and it's become more than that. If you do have fines at the moment the Bloomfield Public Library invites you to come in. We'll figure it out it's no big deal. Moving forward again hopefully that will be a thing of the past."

Readers had mixed opinions.

"I think it's the library's right to charge for lateness,” said Perry Zanett of Waterbury. “It's their property they want it back. It's public property."

"You've got bills to pay you've got kids to take care of,” said Corabeth Whalen, also Waterbury. “Some people just can't handle the fees."

"I still think it's important because people need to learn to bring the books back on time," said Natalia Suchedina of Bloomfield.

"I think people would bring back books more often if there wasn't a fine,” Anisha Pitter of Bloomfield.

"A dollar hits some people differently than other people, so we really don't want them to have that negative impact," Lane said.

Contact Us