December 11, 2018
Denver Public Library is closing a chapter on overdue book fines
by Christina Cerio
Elizabeth Hernandez of the Denver Post reports that Denver Public Library is allowing library patrons to start fresh with their overdue fines.
A news release from the library estimates $474,000 of fines are owed right now by 85,000 people. Library administrators are concerned that overtime, unpaid fines discourage people from coming back to the library. Librarian Michelle Jeske says, “Public libraries are all about access, and going fine free is one more way we can increase access to our collections and services. Access has a dividend for Denver–we all benefit from a curious and engaged community. Increasing library use and increasing material circulation is a win-win for all.”
According to Andrew Kenny of the Denver Post, Mayor Michael Hancock and his administration agree. Mayor Hancock is working with the library and other organizations in the city to be a resource for underserved people in the community. The mayor’s 2019 budget includes plans to hire library staff members to help patrons with housing services and mental health. The mayor believes “small items that can make a big difference in people’s lives.”
Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.