The Fairview Heights Public Library will join several other Metro East libraries that no longer charge fines for youth materials owned by their library. The library’s Board of Trustees voted in favor of implementing a 6 month pilot project starting March 1, 2022 in order to break down barriers to library use by Fairview Height’s youngest residents.
The library strives to provide excellent service to all of its residents. Overdue fines create barriers to service to our youth patrons and often stop them from using the library. By eliminating fines on youth items owned by the library, we hope to share our collection with an even wider audience of youth in the community and their families. While it is often believed that fines incentivize patrons to return materials, research has shown this not true and in fact it often prevents patrons from returning to the library due to fines on their account.
Patrons will still be encouraged to return materials in a responsible and timely manner, but they will no longer be charged daily overdues on youth items owned by the library. You will still be notified when material is overdue prior to a final bill being assessed for lost material. Materials loaned by other libraries may still incur fines on overdue materials. Patrons will still be responsible for replacement charges for lost or damaged items regardless if they are youth material.
With this new measure in place, the library hopes to extend its services, reach more library users and welcome back those who have not visited in some time due to unpaid fines.