MELIBS-L Archives

Maine Libraries Discussion List


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Maine Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:22:34 -0500
Tina Branco <[log in to unmask]>
Tina Branco <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
To: Rachel Davis <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (158 lines)
Here in all-volunteer South Thomaston we also eliminated fines about 3 years
ago. Before that we charged .05/day (but only for days that we were open -3
days/week)  The amount of time spent calculating and collecting nickels and
dimes was deemed very counter-productive and the all volunteer staff often
just said - oh, forget it leaving me to clean up the mess in the automated
circ system.


We put out a "guilt jar" (one of our patrons wanted to know when the Quilt
was going to be finished and were we going to display it?) and now use that
to collect not only overdue money but also "contributions" to pay for
printing and copying.  The town does not want to have to go through the
accounting nightmare so they graciously let us keep the money for
incidentals.  Last year the monies collected paid for our ILL postage (we're
not on the van service.)


It's been a positive experience for both staff and patrons, and I can point
out we have the same experience of most people paying way more than we'd
ever charge in fines/printing.


Tina Branco, 

Director, South Thomaston Public Library

P.O. Box 3

So Thomaston ME 04858


[log in to unmask]


blogging as Tutu at Tutu <> 's Two Cents 

Currently reading "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain

On the Nook: "Out of Nowhere" by Maria Padian 

currently listening to "The Janus stone" by Elly Griffiths




-----Original Message-----
From: Maine Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Rachel Davis
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MELIBS-L] Eliminating fines


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 <>

6 Scott Dyer Road

Cape Elizabeth, ME  04107


[log in to unmask]

Follow us on

Twitter <> @thomasmemlib