Fine Forgiveness at Calvert Library
Every once in a while we can forget to return a library book or two! Now I’ve never owed a huge fine for holding on to a book but I know you can pay a pretty penny if you do! I’m glad to share that Calvert County Libraries are FORGIVING FINES in exchange for returned books! Tell Your Friends, Tell Your Neighbors!
“Welcome Back! Fine Forgiveness Week” is June 6-11!
Calvert Library is breaking with tradition and offering a special “Welcome Back! Fine Forgiveness Week” to encourage long-lost customers to bring their overdue items back to the library and become active library customers again. Calvert Library customers can visit any Calvert Library location from June 6-11, 2016, ask to have their fines forgiven and card updated (bring proof of address), and the librarians will oblige with a smile and a “Welcome back!” Your library card will be wiped clean as if brand new. If you have library materials at home that you have dreaded bringing in, Fine Forgiveness Week is the perfect time to do so! If you can come up with a funny excuse for why you haven’t been in for so long, even better…perhaps you were abducted by aliens? You were living in a house made of books and these library books formed your foundation? Fines forgiven! Welcome back!
Director Carrie Plymire wants to “remind our community that the library is about inspiring possibility, about education and opportunity for all, not about collecting fines.” When asked why holding a Fine Forgiveness Week is a good idea, Plymire said, “The library has fines for overdue items in order to encourage people to come in and return them and then check something else out. Those items are then available for another customer to benefit from. If a customer has temporarily misplaced the item for long enough that it seems to be lost, sometimes people get embarrassed about bringing it in and they stop coming to the library. That’s the last thing we want! Yes, we might miss that lost library item but we miss your face so much more! It’s counter-intuitive to lose a customer simply because they’ve held on to a book too long. Over 80% of the fines in our system are more than a year old and we haven’t seen those customers since they were fined. And we probably won’t see those over 25,000 customers again unless we welcome them back in this way.”
Calvert Library Board of Trustees President Martha Grahame elaborated on why the Trustees championed a Fine Forgiveness Week, “It’s heart-breaking to find out that a child hasn’t been to the library in years because there were fines on their card. Sometimes those fines were for items that weren’t even for the child. When I introduce myself out in the community to a non-library user, I frequently hear some embarrassed story about a lost book or fines. Those aren’t the kind of stories I want to hear about Calvert Library. We have an incredibly smart, resourceful, creative, friendly staff who do so much for individual customers and the community as a whole. Those are the stories I want to hear and dohear when I meet regular Calvert Library users. So I want to make it easy for everyone to be an active library user who can experience this incredible library system.”