San Antonio public library to remove overdue fines

San Antonio Public Library stops overdue fines from October 1

SAN ANTONIO – Patrons of the San Antonio Public Library will no longer have to worry about late fees for items they check starting next month, but the library isn’t worried about losing books.

October 2021 will see the death of overdue fines at the San Antonio Public Library.

“In cases where, you know, you keep it two or three days late, then you just don’t have to worry about it,” said Dale McNeill, assistant director of public services at the San Antonio Public Library. .

The new policy applies to all physical items the library lends out such as books, magazines, Blu-rays, DVDs and records.

McNeill said libraries in other major cities that have waived their late fees haven’t seen a negative impact.

“Because we’re not at the start of the wave of this nationwide, I really believe people are going to continue to return the items they borrowed from the library,” he said.

He was particularly troubled by the impact that fines were having on a to study by the State of Colorado.

“They didn’t seem to have any real effect,” McNeill said. “Except, to provide a barrier for people living in poverty. “

He says that between that and the emergence of e-books as a method of lending, the system developed in a way that disadvantaged the less wealthy.

“So now, accidentally, technology has created a situation that if you’re richer you can’t owe the library fines if you only use e-books,” he said. “If you don’t have those resources and rely on books, magazines, and print films, well now you can be billed. “

If an item has been out for too long, the library will send an invoice to replace it for me, but someone will only have to pay if they are not able to return it at all.

“If the item is completely lost or damaged beyond use, people will only have to foot the bill to continue using the library. But if the item has been misplaced for a little while, turn it over and you’re good to go.

For McNeill, this is an important way to maintain the egalitarian spirit of the library.

“You don’t have to be anything to use the public library, it’s just open to everyone and that’s how it always has been.”


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