As part of Markham Public Library’s 50th anniversary celebration, it is eliminating overdue fines for library materials borrowed by children and teens starting on May 12. That is to say, all children and teens will not be charged for any overdue fines for late return of library materials.
Historically, overdue fines were meant to encourage timely return of borrowed materials, but recent studies have shown that it actually deters people from borrowing. Many studies have shown that fines discourage library use, cutting families off from accessing books and resources they need to support learning.
“We want to foster a love for reading in all Markham children and teens. This means eliminating all barriers and providing equal access to the library,” says Catherine Biss, CEO of Markham Public Library.
The fine-free program ensures children and teens of all economic backgrounds can enjoy the library without having to worry about the financial implications of overdue fines.
Biss believes that the initiative advances MPL’s priorities of inclusion and connection in its new strategic plan.
“We are excited to see more children and teens start using the library,” she added.
With the implementation of the fine-free program, there are also a few changes to the current borrowing rules to ensure all customers get equal opportunities to access MPL’s collections.
For example, unlimited renewals will be changed to three renewals, which still gives customers ample time to enjoy library materials. And missing items will be deemed lost in 21 days instead of 42 days. For additional information about MPL’s borrowing rules please check its website.
Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Economist & Sun