[Library Media] Overdue and Lost Library Book Fees

Heather Anderson heather.anderson at juabsd.org
Wed May 10 11:15:44 MDT 2017


Do any of you stop charging fines when it gets to a certain dollar amount?  


> On May 10, 2017, at 10:43 AM, Shay Walton <Shay.Walton at loganschools.org> wrote:
> 
> In a high school setting, I have found that fines do help in getting materials back to the library for other students to be able to check them out. I charge a very small, $0.05 fine. I send out fine notices often and because the daily fine is so small it doesn't add up to much, but is still an incentive for high school students to return their items. They are charged for lost or damaged books as well. I'm very flexible with how I collect fines however. For example: If a student has a 35 cent fine and only has 25 cents, I often take what they have, waive the extra, and call it good. Students who are trying to be responsible, still get to be responsible, but it makes things more relaxed. I also try to know my students enough that if I know that they are trying to get books in on time but they really can't pay the fee, then I don't charge them. If they offer to help in the library instead of paying their fee and are comfortable about it, I take them up on that, but I don't usually put it out there as an option myself. Students have to pay their fees by the end of the school year to take part in final student checkout and receive their yearbook. I waive any fees that are under $2.00 at the end of the year, but require any that are more than that to be paid. 
> 
> Shay 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> >>> Heather Novotny <hnovotny at mcgillisschool.org <mailto:hnovotny at mcgillisschool.org>> 5/10/2017 10:30 AM >>>
> We don't charge fines, but parents are expected to pay for lost or damaged materials. I personally don't think fines are a good idea in a school library. Fines in the public library settings I've worked in were justified internally as being necessary to secure the return of materials, and did not have any expectation of teaching the public responsibility. If you view fines through that lens (which I think is professionally appropriate) then fines are unnecessary in a school situation where all materials are called back annually. Make sense? 
> 
> What we are doing is notifying parents twice of when books are due, and in the second notice we say you will be billed for the lost materials on the last day of school unless you make prior arrangements with the parents. My first notice (gently worded over a million revisions) goes out Friday. But, the students all know that books are due at the end of the year, and materials are already trickling in. From reports I'm running, about 10% of our collection is currently checked out, and I've got 84 items lost from inventory. Should be OK, right? 
> 
> best, 
> Heather 
> 
> 
> Heather Novotny 
> Librarian 
> The McGillis School 
> 668 South 1300 East Salt Lake City, UT 84102 
> hnovotny at mcgillisschool.org 
> 
> 
> 
> From: Sarah Herron <Sarah.Herron at slcschools.org>
> To: "library-media at lists.uen.org" <library-media at lists.uen.org>
> Sent: 5/10/2017 9:38 AM
> Subject: [Library Media] Overdue and Lost Library Book Fees
> 
> Hello! 
>  
> Chris Haught from SEDC asked me a question about how UT school libraries handle lost and/or overdue book fees. Chris said, “I searched and found a lot of opinions and district policies, but nothing definitive. I once was told that it was illegal to charge elementary school students for lost books, and even fines because they were too young to enter into a contract.”
>  
> Any ideas on this topic? We would love to hear your input.
>  
> Thanks!
>  
> Sarah Herron
>   
>   
> Sarah G. Herron
> Conference Chair, Utah Educational Library Media Association
> Library Technology Teacher, M. Ed.
> East High School
> 840 South 1300 East
> Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
> Email: sarah.herron at slcschools.org <mailto:sarah.herron at slcschools.org>
> Phone:    801-583-1661 x2202
> Fax:         801-584-2927
>   
> "Librarians are the coolest people out there, doing the hardest job out there on the frontlines. And every time I get to encounter or work with librarians, I'm always impressed by their sheer awesomeness."   - Neil Gaiman
>   
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Heather Anderson
Media Specialist
Juab High School










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