To better serve patron needs, Monona Library eliminates overdue fines in 2012
The Monona Public Library will no longer charge overdue fees on materials checked out at the library, beginning on January 2, 2012. The Monona Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the change at its December 20 meeting. The Monona Library will be only the second library in the South Central Library System to not charge patrons for overdue materials, joining Middleton's library.
“We believe that this change will make our library even more popular and more responsive to use by Monona and nearby residents,” states Erick Plumb, library director. "In an increasingly "on-demand" world with numerous choices for consumers, with most of these choices requiring additional service charges, we believe that eliminating late fees makes us more user-friendly to Monona residents, as well as being more equitable to the community in these challenging economic times,” Plumb continued. "We currently do not charge overdue fines for children's materials and this change is just an extension of that successful model. People are charged fees for seemingly everything these days, from baggage at the airport to checking fees at the bank. Monona has been very supportive of the library, and we want to return that support.“ Plumb also noted that the strong community and business support of the library helped it to garner the 2010 Wisconsin Library of the Year title.
Attracting new and returning users is the ultimate goal of the change to a fine-free model, Plumb says. "We are confident that people who may have not used the library in the past will give it a try now as day-to-day information and entertainment needs as consumers dramatically escalate. The Monona Library is a wonderful resource and our main objective is to provide a community space that fosters a literate, well-informed public. Our goal is not to punish people for being a day late in returning an item."
The library will continue to charge for lost or damaged materials, with items more than 28 days late changed to a "lost item" status. "We want people to enjoy the materials they borrow from us, and then return them. We want people to come to the library, check out all we have to offer, including ebooks, and sign up for some of our great programs. Libraries are all about making connections and are more necessary than ever in today’s rapidly transforming world." Plumb concludes.