As of Wednesday, residents are exempt from paying overdue library fees.
The Carrollton City Council unanimously passed a resolution to zero out all outstanding Carrollton Public Library overdue fees and restore services to all affected library accounts.
The idea was introduced by Jonathan Scheu, the Carrollton Public Library director at a City Council worksession in July, and the resolution was officially submitted and approved at the City Council meeting on Tuesday.
“The American Library Association has maintained for several years that the essential mission of a publicly-funded library is to provide free, equal, and equitable access to information in all its forms,” Scheu said. “The organization believes that fines present an economic barrier to accessing library materials and services, and the penalties drive away the people who stand to benefit the most from free library resources including low-income families, minorities and children.”
Moving forward, materials that are past due will not accrue overdue fees, but the account will be frozen until the materials are returned. Materials that are 25 days past due will be charged the full replacement cost of the material unless returned in good condition. Once 90 days have passed, the lost/damaged charges are considered final.
Scheu said all library overdue fees will be eliminated, but lost and damage charges will still apply. Existing overdue fees will be waived from patron accounts, but patrons are still responsible for the lost and damage charges. The library is restoring access to patrons whose accounts have been frozen due to overdue fees but is not removing the personal responsibility of the materials borrowed.
“Just bring the materials back,” Scheu said. “The fines have been removed.”
Scheu said there is a universe of information to explore at the Carrollton Public Library can help source it. The Library offers online resources and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents can visit the library from anywhere with internet access or visit in person to renew their cards.