Virginia Beach Public Library drops overdue fines for kids moving forward

Virginia Beach

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 29: A schoolteacher collects library books from students who just graduated and but borrowed them before schools were shut down at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 on June 29, 2020 in New York City. In April, it was announced that NYC public schools would be closed at least through the end of the school year amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) announced on Thursday that they will no longer charge overdue fines on youth accounts for kids ages 0 to 17. The change is in an effort to increase access to information.

“Equal and equitable access to information is a core value of libraries,” said Director of Libraries Eva Poole. “Removing overdue fines from youth accounts is a first step in removing economic barriers to accessing library materials, especially for children who may need us the most. Inability to pay fines may prevent families from returning materials or visiting the library at all. The goal is to get the materials back into our collection, and to encourage families to continue using the library.”

The new policy goes into effect on July 1, however, previous fines must still be paid. In addition, fees for lost or damaged items will still apply.

According to their press release, teen library accounts for children ages 13 to 17 and student accounts for Virginia Beach City Public School students also no longer have overdue fines.

Officials say they will monitor their collection and usage data, as well as their policies, in hopes of removing overdue fines from all accounts in the future.

Additionally, library officials have removed the $1 fee for materials placed on hold but not picked up and will allow access to digital resources for those who are blocked from checking out physical items.

These changes follow a 2019 resolution passed by the American Library Association (ALA) that determined overdue fines are an equity issue.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WAVY Twitter Widget

***Don’t Miss Module Removal CSS***

WAVY Facebook