The board of the Gibsons and District Public Library has implemented a new policy on children’s materials: there will be no overdue fines on any children’s materials, but fees for lost or damaged items will still exist. Having fine-free children’s materials is another step the library is taking to ensure that the library is as accessible as possible to everyone in our community.
GDPL wants to ensure that every child is supported to read and have access to the many resources the library offers. As one mother of three children expressed “Sometimes we would take out fewer books because I was so concerned about fines. Now we will be less limited when we come to the library”. Libraries have always been the ‘great equalizer’: every individual that walks through the door has the same rights regardless of income, background or ability. Doing away with overdue fines for children’s materials ensures that families or children using the library independently will feel comfortable taking out as many great books, dvds or cds as they want.
GDPL successfully provides great services on a limited budget, and the board needed to consider the loss of overdue fine revenue before making this policy change. Board President Manjit Kang explained “The positive outcome of removing potential barriers to using the library is worth the loss of revenue. Every child should be supported to read, as literacy skills are the foundation of lifelong learning”. Submitted