Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Library fines and you!

I made the decision today to no longer collect late fines on books. While I understand that at some schools, this works well, it has not for me. Some of my reasons for stopping are:

  1. My very large district moved to Destiny and I don't want to have to deal with .30 fines coming back to me because we now have a union catalog. Shoot, I don't even want to deal with .30 fines at my own school!
  2. It does not increase the likelihood of books coming back. It has seemed to do the opposite. Students have said, after finally returning a book, that they didn't want to return it because they owed a fine. Remember that I am at a middle school (where thought processes can be interesting).
  3. For some time now, I have followed the discussion of fines on CALIBk12 and I have decided that I prefer the no-fine argument.
  4. Fines keep students from checking out new books. Yes, I could change that part of the policy, but, again, I have had students say that they can't check out a book because they owe money (but have already returned the book). Even when I tell them otherwise, this is of great concern.

And, yes, I know the argument in the other direction. I am not saying that it is wrong. What I am saying is that this is solely a site-based decision and, based on my site/library, it seems to make sense. I figure that I will evaluate the process in spring 2010 to see if it has made sense.

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