Hamilton East Public Libraries (HEPL), which includes the Fishers and Noblesville public libraries, has stated they are dropping overdue fines starting November 1st. Starting on that date, there will no longer be fines for late library materials including books, DVDs, audiobooks, and (I assume) games.
Fine related activities take staff time and also can cause some people to stop coming to the library. With fines and fees making up less than one percent of the library revenue (in 2019), it was determined that the time and efforts were better served by dropping fines and the collection activities.
Library Director Edra Waterman stated:
“We hope that eliminating fines for overdue items will remove another barrier to access and allow everyone in our service area to have full use of HEPL resources, especially those needed by school-age children to read, discover, and be curious. In addition, a fine-free policy aligns with our mission to be the community’s essential connector to information and ideas.,”
It is worth noting (and HEPL did note this) that “No fines” doesn’t mean that books and materials don’t have to be returned. Patrons still have a responsibility to return materials. Patrons will also still be responsible for paying for lost or damaged items.
I often write about the HEPL libraries. Like our schools, these are one of the diamonds in what the City of Fishers offers. Our libraries are no longer just about books (although books are great!). They include other resources like DVDs, board games, and magazines. They also do a lot of educational sessions. The basement of the Fishers Library includes the Ignite Studio, which offers a plethora of crafts and activities as well as has equipment that is available for public use including a laser printer, 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, a t-shirt press, a circuit machine, sewing machines, and a lot of other things. If you’ve never seen Ignite, you should check it out. The staff working the area are happy to point out what is there.
You can find more on the libraries at https://www.hepl.lib.in.us/.