If library fines have kept your kids from borrowing books and materials from Baltimore County Public Library, we’ve got great news! Effective today, BCPL will no longer charge extended loan fees for cardholders under 18 years old.
According to a press release the library system sent this morning, all fines and fees on more than 13,000 youth accounts* are in the process of being cleared and blocked accounts reinstated. (Note: This is for youth accounts and not for youth materials checked out on adult accounts.) Though extended loan fees will not be assessed, pint-sized patrons (and their families) are encouraged to be mindful of due dates and to renew items if necessary. Popular items regularly have a list of cardholders waiting and it is the library’s goal to have items back in circulation as soon as possible.
Lost or damaged items for all accounts will have still a replacement fee assessed.
“Removing these fees will help to reduce barriers keeping some Baltimore County children from accessing all the books, materials and services the library has to offer,” said Baltimore County Public Library Director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine. “While we want materials returned in a timely manner for those waiting, penalizing children for late materials is not the answer.”
Eliminating fees for kids and students aligns with Baltimore County Public Library’s strategic plan objective to provide equitable access and removal of barriers to library materials and services and aligns with extended loan fine-free policies of libraries throughout the country. While a fine-free model for all is in the process of being evaluated, extended loan fees for adult accounts remain in place at this time.
Alcántara-Antoine added, “Libraries open up new and magical worlds for children, and we hope that any child who has not been able to utilize the library because of a fine will have a library book in their hands this week!”
Editor’s Note: This article has been created from a press release from Baltimore County Public Library.