Trustees approve fine-free policy for youth materials

At their Feb. 21 meeting, the Trustees approved a fine-free policy submitted by Youth Services Librarian, Sara Russell-Scholl. It reads:
  Beginning January 2018, the North Adams Public Library will no longer charge overdue fines on children and young adult cards. Removing overdue fines provides greater access for children and young adults to use the full range of library resources. Cards that will not accrue fines must be designated "juvenile" or "young adult" in the CWMARS catalog (Evergreen ILS ). This policy will take effect for any items checked out January 2018 or later. Lost item and damage fees will still apply. At two week overdue, an overdue notice and email will be sent as a reminder to return library items. Items not returned within one month of the due date will be considered lost and the full cost of the item will be charged to the patron's account.

 Libraries across the country are reconsidering the wisdom of fining children since they are often dependent on adults for transportation, too young to phone in or remotely renew their items, hostage to busy family schedules, and unable to come up with the ruthlessly accurate accounts of money owed. Congratulations to Sara and the Trustees for taking this step.