As published in the Red Rock News
Sedona Public Library and Sedona Public Library in the Village are turning the page to begin a new chapter at the Library! Beginning June 7, 2022, our libraries will eliminate all overdue fines on most library materials and waive previous overdue fines. (Fines will remain on computers, hotspots, and Kid’s Kits.)
We understand that overdue fines can add up and visiting the library can start to feel like a burden, especially on your wallet. That’s why we are committed to providing equal access to every member of our community by eliminating fines. We are presenting our patrons with a fresh start and hope they will re-discover the Library and all that it has to offer. By ending most overdue fines, the Library is removing barriers and making access easy, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone.
Fines can potentially be an obstacle that disproportionately impacts people without the means to pay. Removing these fines (while still requiring that all items be returned) allows more people to enjoy library materials for education, enrichment, and inspiration. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we are saying farewell to (almost all) fines! (Patrons will continue to be charged for lost or damaged items.)
We still encourage patrons to return their materials on time so that they are available to others who would like to borrow them. And, if you have overdue library materials that you haven’t returned because of the fines, we encourage you to do so now and begin using your library card again.
In 2019 the American Library Association passed a resolution that cited mounting evidence that eliminating fines increases library card sign-ups and library use. Libraries across the country are going fine free and the response has been a high return of materials and high return of library users.
The decision to eliminate fines at Sedona Public Library was made by the Library Board of Trustees with staff input. In addition to recognizing that the elimination of library fines will increase accessibility for all library customers, ending overdue fines will also result in more positive customer interactions. It will allow staff to focus on creativity, programs, and exceptional service, as well as freeing up staff time to work on other projects.
The current three-week check-out period will remain, but fines will not accrue if items are not returned on time. Of course, there is also the added convenience of two automatic renewals. However, if an item is on hold for another customer, it will not be renewed, and the borrower will be asked to return it. If an item does not come back, customers will still be held financially responsible. In addition, fees will still be assessed for replacement library cards, printing, and lost materials. And, as mentioned, fines will remain on computers, hotspots, and Kid’s Kits.
Additionally, to encourage returning library customers who may have lost their library cards, the Library will waive the fee for replacement library cards until October 31, 2022.
In going fine free, Sedona Public Libraries join other Yavapai County Libraries as well as across the country which have gone fine free. We are committed to sharing information and resources with everyone in our community.
And we have so much to offer. Through our membership in the Yavapai Library Network, Library users have access to over 1.2 million books, DVDs, Blu-rays, magazines, and audiobooks. We have the Kanopy streaming movie service, as well as downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines through Overdrive and the Libby app. We also host unique events and recurring programs every month for children, teens, and adults. There’s so much to enjoy at our libraries!
All of us at Sedona Public Library and SPL in the Village sincerely hope that all Library customers will continue to utilize our amazing resources. We invite all returning and new library customers to visit, check out something new, enjoy a display, and attend an event! We welcome back those who haven’t been in for a while, please stop by and see what’s new. We can’t wait to see you and tell you all about it.
Sedona Public Library is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization serving Sedona and surrounding communities. Please visit sedonalibrary.org/donate to support your Library.
Sedona Public Library
News Column for 6/3/22
Written by Judy Poe, Library Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.