Bethlehem Library to Drop Overdue Fines
As a kid, I loved going to the library, even during my high school years. I could spend hours in there looking at the books. I used to take 4 or 5 books out at a time, and the goal was to read before the due date. So the due date would come, and of course, I wouldn't be finished with half the books, so that I would wait. Read all the books, then make the trip back to the library and pay the fine. Ugh, that was painful back then, and it still is now!
The excellent news is that fine is slowly disappearing for many local libraries. Bethlem is the newest to drop the late fee fine! Last week, the library decided and was one of many across the region and the nation to go 'fine-free.'
The Bethlem library considered removing the fine right before the pandemic and decided to experiment with it during the pandemic. The library did a study and found that 90 percent of the library card holders returned their books on time, and 92 percent returned their books within three days of the due date.
Bethlehem is one of the last of the local libraries to go fine-free. Albany Public Library was one of the first in the area to go fine-free. APL also did a study and said after removing the fine; they saw an increase in the use of their library services.
The goal of going fine-free for all the libraries is to ensure parents and kids never have to worry about taking out a book because they may not be able to afford the fine.