No More Fines

Howland votes to end late fees

Howland Public Library Director Kristen Salierno and Assistant Director Kristin Charles-Scaringi stand outside the library with a sign announcing the end of overdue fines.Photo provided

Howland Public Library Director Kristen Salierno and Assistant Director Kristin Charles-Scaringi stand outside the library with a sign announcing the end of overdue fines. (Photo provided)

The Howland Public Library in Beacon is no longer charging fines for items that are returned late.

In a statement, the library cited research that suggests fines do not prevent people from returning books late and can create barriers for lower-income patrons. Fines only account for about $1,000 of the library’s annual budget, it said.

The policy also applies to DVDs, CDs, magazines, the Library of Things, museum passes and interlibrary loans. Special-order items from outside the Mid-Hudson Library System are an exception, and replacement fees still apply. If no one is waiting for an item, it will be renewed automatically twice. 

The Howland is the 51st of 66 libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System to eliminate fines; the others include the Desmond-Fish Public Library in Garrison and the Butterfield Library in Cold Spring.

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