Ellsworth Public Library Goes “Fine-Free” for Children’s Books and Videos
More reading less fines! That seems to be the new motto for the Ellsworth Public Library. The Ellsworth Public Library announced on July 18th that effective September 1st they will no longer be charging fines on overdue children's and young adult books and DVD's.
The library will continue to charge fees for the replacement of lost and damaged materials. Fines on adult books and DVDs will still be collected.
“Overdue fines do not provide significant revenue for the library and can be a barrier to library use, particularly for low income families,” said Library Director Amy Wisehart. “Library card access is blocked when fines reach $10, an amount that is sometimes out of reach for families struggling to get by. We are pleased to enhance access to children’s materials, which are so important for building literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading.”
Last year, library fines for children’s materials brought in $3,000, less than half of one percent of the overall library budget. The library has launched a fundraising campaign to offset the $3,000 in revenue loss, with a goal of raising the $3,000 by the end of the year. An anonymous donor has given $300 to kick off the campaign. Donations may be mailed or dropped off at the library.
“Anything we can do to encourage library use by our youth is a great thing,” said Library Trustee President Ron Fortier.