Rumford library fined for ‘breakup’ on Valentine’s Day


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Rumford library fined for 'breakup' on Valentine's Day

Rumford library fined for ‘breakup’ on Valentine’s Day

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Rumford Public Library is giving its patrons a Valentine’s Day – and it’s breaking up with overdue fines.

According to the library’s press release, the change is intended to increase circulation and encourage patrons to return to the library.

“Libraries found that when they stopped collecting fines, a lot of people could go back to their local library and get materials,” said Librarian Susan Marshall.

Beginning Monday, February 14, late library materials will no longer accrue fines.

“Fines disproportionately affect low-income households. When customers accumulate fines, they’re less willing to go to the library,” Marshall said. “The fine goes against the American Library Association’s goal of supporting free access to information.

The penalty for overdue materials is 5 cents per day. Once the account fee reaches $3, the account will be frozen, preventing readers from lending more material or on hold.

“We’re not going to make a lot of money from fines,” Marshall said. “For the most part, it’s a handy tool to remind people to bring back expired items.”

Penalty waiver applies only to late fees.

Bills on customer accounts – the cost of replacing a book that was never returned or returned damaged – will not be deleted.

When patrons check out at the library, overdue fines will be charged to their account.

The library will also accept retrospective material that has been borrowed for too long as long as the book is the property of the library.

Fees on patron accounts do not prevent patrons from using other library services, such as using a computer or sending faxes. However, it will prevent customers from accessing CloudLibrary, where customers can borrow e-books and audiobooks.

Items borrowed from the library will still expire in two weeks, with two renewals, as long as they are not on hold. Patrons will receive two notifications from the library before billing for an item.

Customers with expired library accounts should present photo identification and proof of residency.

To check the status of a library account, patrons can visit the library at 56 Rumford Ave. or call 207-364-3661 ext. 1. They can also check their status online through MINERVA, minerva.maine.edu, and click on “My Library Account”; the reader’s name is their username and their password is their library card number.

For more information, call the library or follow it on Facebook.

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