Fine Changes Print

girl checking out a pile of booksWCLS is changing the Borrower’s Policy in line with the new three year plan (read the WCLS/Bellingham Public Library (BPL) joint press release). Focusing on two key areas, the changes are as follows:

ACCESS-Encourage youth (birth through teen) to read and use the library by eliminating fines for children on kids & teen materials checked out on their cards.

teen using self checkHow does ending children’s and teen’s fines increase access and reduce barriers to using the library? Most children and teens are not capable of returning library materials on their own, yet are barred from checking out when overdue fines reach the limit. This policy change will keep children and teens using the library during their important school years. And more parents may sign up their children for library cards when they know overdue fines will not be charged on children’s materials checked out on children’s cards. This change goes into effect on January 1, 2013 but is not retroactive; fines currently on the books remain there. The Bellingham Public Library (BPL) Board also made this policy change effective on the same date.

BUILDING COMMUNITY-Build a county wide library community that recognizes the necessity of information sharing at all levels.

As partner libraries serving many of the same patrons and sharing a common catalog of materials, Bellingham Public Library and Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) are continually looking for ways to make using the library a seamless experience. Over boys reading graphic novelthe last year, the staff from both library systems have been reviewing check-out policies to align them where possible and reasonable.  WCLS has not increased fines since they were instituted in 1992. For these reasons, the WCLS Board of Trustees voted to raise adult fines to 25 cents a day with a 2-day grace period which brings BPL and WCLS policies into alignment and makes fiscal sense.

Through the Whatcom Libraries Collaborate – One Card program, everyone in Whatcom County has access to the collections at all the public and academic libraries in

Whatcom County. Which also means there are 27 locations to return library materials throughout Whatcom County. One is sure to be convenient for you!

Your thoughts and comments are welcome! Send an email or call WCLS at 360-384-3150.