Eliminating Library Fines: Improving Community Access, Equity and Usage
This webinar shares how going fine-free eliminates barriers and improves access to your library’s materials and services.
This event has passed.
The growing research and library case studies on the benefits of eliminating overdue fines indicate that the advantages to both library and patron far exceed the monetary value of the fines. This webinar explores going (and staying) fine-free as a social justice issue and as a revenue issue. Presenters will discuss considerations such as the barriers to access for those facing financial insecurity, the cost to collect fines often exceeds the revenue they bring in, and that many libraries report that patrons return more items after going fine-free.
Learn how to:
- Implement a strategic approach to going fine-free, from testing and refining messaging, to addressing common objections or concerns.
- Gather the data and stories needed to make the case to staff, administration, funders, and community across the political spectrum.
This webinar shares how going fine-free eliminates barriers and improves access to your library’s materials and services, resulting in increased usage, higher circulation, lower staff stress, and higher customer satisfaction.
Presented by: Mark Fink, County Librarian and Chief Archivist, Yolo County Library (CA); and Peter Bromberg, Associate Director, EveryLibrary, and most recently, Executive Director, Salt Lake City Public Library (UT)
- View Webinar Recording (You will be prompted to login to our free Course Catalog.)
- View slides (pdf)
- View chat (xls)
- View captions (txt)
- Learner Guide (doc) Use alone or with others to extend your learning.
- Fines & Fees LibGuide, Delaware Division of Libraries
- Long Overdue: Eliminating Fines on Overdue Materials to Improve Access to San Francisco Public Library, January 2019 (pdf) and the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, which assesses and reforms fines, fees and financial penalties that disproportionately impact low-income people and people of color. See: Can’t Afford to Pay Your Fine, Fee, or Ticket in San Francisco? (pdf)
- Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity (pdf) Adopted by the Council of the American Library Association
Monday, January 28, 2019
- Yolo County Library
- Presentation to Board to eliminate fines (pdf)
- Report to Staff on eliminating fines (pdf)
- End Library Fines, Collection of articles and resources compiled by library consultant Andy Woodworth
- Fine Free Research (Anchorage Public Library) Includes links to various resources that show the effect on circulation of going fine free as well as other topics such as the effects of removing barriers to access.
- Removing Barriers to Access: Eliminating Library Fines & Fees on Children's Materials, Colorado State Library and Eliminating Fines FAQs
- How Eliminating Library Fees Advances Racial Equity, Urban Libraries Council
- Why Some Libraries are Ending Fines, Deborah Fallows, The Atlantic
- Three Alternatives to the Usual Strategies for Collecting Fines and Fees, Emma Coleman, Route Fifty
- American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau
- Johnson County Public Library Auto Renewal debut
- The Great Read Away, LA County Library
- Grand Rapids Public Library Eliminates All Children’s Fines
- The End of Overdue Fines?, Public Libraries Online
- Overdue fines to be eliminated at the Stark County District Library, CantonRep.com
- Imposed Fee and Fine Use by Local Governments, GFOA
- The three languages of politics : talking across the political divides, Arnold S Kling
- Peter Bromberg's Fine Free collection of resources on Dropbox
- Recommendation for Fine-Free Policy at Salt Lake City Public Library, submitted to the Library Board by Executive Director Peter Bromberg, April 24, 2017
- Today I Bent a Rule: Barrier Identification Staff Survey at Halifax Public Libraries
15 June 2021
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]
Webinar presenter Mark Fink
Webinar presenter Peter Bromberg
13 March 2024
30 April 2024