A local library is joining a national trend when it comes to penalties and late fees. The Williston Community Library believes getting rid of late fees for kids will break barriers, and get even more people reading.
Last month, KX News told you that more people are visiting the library than they are going to movies, concerts and live sports, but there’s still one part of the library that might scare people away.
“It’s the fear of having late fees. We all know that life happens and sometimes it’s due to things that are out of our control,” Williston Community Library Director Andrea Placher said.
Late fees and other penalties like accidentally tearing a book cover or ripping a page can get costly. Libraries across the country are trying something new by eliminating fines, and now, Williston is turning that page too, for all kids.
“This is going to remove barriers for children, all across Williams County. It’s going to remove barriers for parents who are maybe a little apprehensive to use the library because of the fear of having late fees,” Placher said.
Minot Public Library did the same thing a year ago, removing fines for renters 17 and younger. That led to about 3,000 more books being checked out than the year before. One Minot woman said she told her friend about the policy and she now won’t leave the library.
“They go every week. Her kids are checking out books, going to programs and they’re getting something they may not have got before,” Minot local Randi Monley said.
Placher said that’s what it’s all about.
“There is so much to gain from libraries,” Placher said.
They will go fine-free starting March 1 for kids ages 17 and under, and the library hopes to eventually do away with late fees altogether for everyone.