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Weekly News Digest

January 7, 2020 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Fine-Free in the New Year

More and more public libraries are announcing that they are going fine-free.

According to Colorado Public Radio (CPR), Mesa County Libraries in Colorado went fine-free as of Jan. 1, 2020. “While researching whether to make this change, library employees found that the county zip codes with the most overdue fees also had the lowest incomes. … 10,000 [library accounts] are blocked because of a combination of overdue fines and bills for unreturned items. After $10 accrues, people aren’t allowed to check out materials. With this change, 3,000 of those users will immediately have their borrowing rights restored.”

The Denver Post reports that since Denver Public Library went fine-free in January 2019, 35% of patrons with fines who had stopped using the library have returned. “Fines were a penalty, and they were our approach to be good stewards and get materials back, but what we found was they did not result in getting materials back. They penalized the person after they did the right thing and returned their items,” Jennifer Hoffman, manager of the library’s Books and Borrowing department, told the newspaper.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 3 years ago, the Los Angeles Public Library “gave amnesty to patrons with overdue materials, which led to the return of 64,633 overdue items and the issuance of nearly 8,000 new library cards. During that campaign, around 13,700 delinquent library users had their cards unblocked, allowing them to begin borrowing again. … Getting rid of the late fees systemwide was the logical next step, said library commission president Bich Ngoc Cao. …”

For more information, read the article about Mesa County Libraries, the article about Denver Public Library, and the article about Los Angeles Public Library.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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