In order to promote childhood reading and the acquisition of literacy skills, the City of Deux-Montagnes is permanently eliminating overdue fines on materials from the children’s library, as well as the abolition of penalties on unclaimed reservations.
With this decision, the City joins the international Fine Free Library Movement, which ABPQ (Association des bibliothèques publiques du Québec) strongly supports. Thereby, children’s books borrowed with a child Subscriber Card will no longer be subject to fines if they are returned late. In addition, all customers will be exempted from penalties when their reservations or interlibrary loans are not claimed.
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“This is a well-received decision to promote and simplify access to information and culture. For families, we just removed a barrier to the use of library services and its numerous youth collections.” said Mayor Denis Martin
To encourage the return of documents
Despite the abolition of overdue fines for young people 13 years and under, measures are being taken to encourage citizens to return their loaned books. The procedure already established for all users remains the same; notices are sent to the subscriber after 7, 14 and 42 days of delay. On the 70th day, the document is considered lost and an invoice is sent.
Also, the subscriber’s file will now be suspended 21 days after the loan expires. New books cannot be borrowed until late ones are returned or renewed. This new measure aims to encourage the return of documents.
This policy stems from a worldwide movement called Fine Free Library, which originated in the United States with the aim of democratizing access to libraries and their cultural, artistic and educational collections.
The Association of Public Libraries of Quebec (ABPQ) reports that there are currently 246 libraries in the province that do not charge late fees (18 do so only partially) out of 1068 establishments.
The Association argues that late fees can act as an economic barrier that hinders access to libraries for financially disadvantaged people, especially minors. These fees can also create conflicts between staff and customers.