Coburn Free Library Eliminates Late Fees for Youth Materials
By Caroline Beckenhaupt
Beginning immediately, the Coburn Library in Owego will no longer assess late fees on its children’s and young adult collections. This includes youth movies.
Meredith Gallaro, the executive director of the library, is very happy about this change which was recently approved by the library’s board of directors. “We just care about the books. While I want our materials returned in a timely manner, I don’t believe the answer to late returns is penalizing patrons, “she says, “I believe in building an atmosphere of respect and caring while working toward our mission of putting books into young people’s hands.” Gallaro elaborates, “I know there are people out there holding onto materials because they know they are long overdue. The patron is the most important to us. We welcome you back. Overdue charges are forgiven.”
What does this mean for library patrons? 1) You will no longer receive an overdue fine for the late return of children’s and YA materials. 2) You are still responsible for returning your items so that others may enjoy them. 3) While you will be billed for youth items that are over 30 days overdue, if you return the item, the bill will be cleared from your account. 4) Fines still apply for adult items. 5) The library cannot clear bills for items owned by other libraries.
The library’s goal for this change is to remove barriers for families and encourage the use of youth books, movies, and multimedia. Indeed, all materials for children & young adults will now be fine-free. If you have a long-lost or ignored children’s or young adult book that you have been feeling guilty about, you may now return it with pride–and no penalty.