Quite frankly - one of the best things we ever did in terms of
customer service was to eliminate fines when we joined Minerva about
10 years ago.
I don't remember the fine rate at the time nor the amount we raised
through fines. I do remember they took a good deal of staff time to
administer and it was not a friendly approach to customer service.
I do know that we bring in a decent amount of money through our
conscience jar. Some patrons feel more guilty than others.
For example - just last week, a patron had 3 books that were each 3
days overdue. With fines, it may have cost him a dollar or so. He
put $5 in the conscience jar. Something like this happens more often
than you might expect.
We take the stand that fines aren't friendly (being friendly
encourages support for the library) and don't deter people from
keeping books longer than allowed.
We do stop a person's card if they have items overdue more than time
allowed by our Minerva settings. We find this is often a good
deterent -- especially when the patron cannot reserve or download
books because his/her card has been stopped.
We also have an ordinance in which we can ask the police to intervene
if items are long overdue. We use this when/if the patron has
interlibrary loan items long overdue or if the items were acquired via
ILL. I try to call the patron before going to the police. That
Baxter Memorial Library
Quoting "Rachel Davis" <[log in to unmask]>:
> I am posting this on behalf our library director, Jay Scherma. Feel free to
> respond either to me, to the list, or directly to him:
> [log in to unmask] Thanks!
> Our Board of Trustees is considering a change of policy to eliminate the
> use of overdue fines here at TML. We are a municipal department of the
> Town of Cape Elizabeth (pop. 9,025,). We are interested in the experience
> of any other public libraries that have eliminated the use of overdue fines
> to help us in our decision making process.
> 1) When did you eliminate fines?
> 2) What was your fine rate before you eliminated fines?
> 3) How much money did you raise in fines each year?
> 4) If known, how much money (in staff time & postage) did it take to manage
> fines in your library?
> 5) What were the positive outcomes from eliminating fines?
> 6) What were the drawbacks to eliminating them?
> 7) Did you use any strategies to replace the lost income?
> 8) Where these successful?
> 9) Other thoughts, comments, etc. that might help us in making our decision?
> Thanks for your assistance,
> Jay Scherma, Director
> Thomas Memorial Library
> Rachel Q. Davis
> Assistant Director/Children's Librarian
> Thomas Memorial Library <http://www.thomasmemoriallibrary.org/index.shtml>
> 6 Scott Dyer Road
> Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
> [log in to unmask]
> Follow us on
> Twitter <http://twitter.com/thomasmemlib> @thomasmemlib
Pamela Turner, Director
Baxter Memorial Library
71 South Street
Gorham, ME 04038
[log in to unmask]