Beginning September 1st, the Windham Public Library (WPL) will be fine free. Becoming fine free allows the library to remove financial barriers and make books and materials accessible to all patrons. All items will still need to be returned in a timely manner and staff will continue to send overdue reminders as well as bills for lost or damaged items. If a WPL patron has fines (as opposed to a bill) on their library card, the patron’s account will be cleared and activated for use. Please see the circulation supervisor with any questions about your account.
So, why is the library go fine free?
It is WPL’s mission to ensure community access to the information and resources it needs. The library staff’s hope is that these changes will encourage prior users to return to the library and will also attract new users.
Research has shown small fines have no impact on return rates.
With a rise in use of digital resources which do not accrue late fees, fines are not a sustainable revenue. The overall amount of money collected is less than 1% of the library’s budget.
And there is more! WPL’s second piece of news is that a shared borrowing pilot program with the Maine State Library will begin September 16th. This means the WPL is expanding the number of libraries at which a patron can use their library card. Look for more information on the WPL website about specific locations and other policies as they begin the program. Shared borrowing will greatly enhance library cardholders’ ability to access resources from libraries throughout the state.