Ferndale Library Phases Out Late Fines for Majority of Circulating Items

Ferndale Library Phases Out Late Fines for Majority of Circulating Items

(Ferndale Area Dist. Library, Oct. 14, 2019)

FERNDALE, MI – Ferndale is joining the sizable wave of libraries forgoing overdue fines. Effective Sep. 20, the Ferndale Library eliminated fines for late returns on a substantial batch of circulating items, including adult fiction and non-fiction books, audiobooks, music CDs, standard-loan DVDs, and all children’s and teen materials. Old overdue fines on Ferndale items have also been removed from existing library card accounts. Fees associated with lost or damaged materials remain. “Our desire is to offer current cardholders a fresh start and entice residents who haven’t explored the library recently to come see all that we have to offer,” said Jenny Marr, Director of the Ferndale Library.

“We don’t judge anyone for having overdue books, because we’ve all been there,” said Marr. “Even though I’m at the library almost every day, I still sometimes miss a due date. We understand how busy people are, and that life happens; we want using the library to be a positive and enjoyable experience.”

Charging for late returns is not fiscally motivated, as fines made up only 0.7% of FADL revenue in FY 2019. This decision aligns Ferndale with a growing nationwide movement that includes Chicago and Denver libraries, as well as neighboring communities such as Detroit, Redford and Allen Park.

“We are so excited to be a part of this initiative,” said Judeen Bartos, President of the FADL Board of Directors. “We believe in expanding access to library materials. Staff will be able to focus more on coordinating quality events and programs that can inform and engage the community. We want them to be able to devote their time, care, and energy toward providing the best service to patrons visiting the library.”

It was a priority for the Board of Directors and staff that all overdue fines be removed from children’s and teen materials, recognizing how difficult it can sometimes be for a family to keep track of every single item they have checked out and when they are due back. The timely return of the newest materials in the adult collection will still be enforced to assure equitable access to popular titles for Ferndale’s cardholders, but no fines will be assessed for the majority of items currently available on the library’s shelves.

For more on the Ferndale Area District Library, visit their website.

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