BRADFORD WEST GWILLIMBURY PUBLIC LIBRARY
The BWG Library is pleased to announce that borrowers will no longer be charged fines for overdue material.
In July of 2020, the Board of Directors of the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library (BWG Library) committed to easing the burden on community members and making the BWG Library more accessible by waiving fines for overdue material for the remainder of 2020. Due to the success and popularity of this shift, the board voted at its May 17, 2021 meeting to permanently eliminate late fines for overdue material.
In response to the difficulties families are facing due to the pandemic, and in order to increase access, the BWG Library will no longer be charging fines for overdue material. Lost and damaged materials will still be charged on a cost recovery basis, however going forward there will be no overdue fines for books, DVDs, audiobooks and all other circulating material that are returned to the library in the condition they were lent.
This change is effective immediately, however these changes will take time and community members might see old fines on their account. The BWG Library asks that community members be patient as they work through this process.
“Last year, the Board voted to waive late fees during the pandemic and we have made that change permanent,” shares Jennifer Harrison, Chair of the BWG Library Board of Directors and member of the Finance Committee.
“The research shows that late fees do not ensure that library materials are returned promptly, but they do create barriers for those from low-income backgrounds. By eliminating fines altogether, we are showing that our library is an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all incomes.”
“This is a significant change that will positively impact all community members,” explained Councillor Jonathan Scott, Vice-Chair of the BWG Library Board of Directors and Chair of the Finance Committee. “Revenue from fines represents a nominal portion of the library’s budget, but will make a world of difference to community members who use the library’s services and spaces.”
In a staff report, Matthew Corbett, CEO, and Andrea Ciurria, Manager of Borrower Services, found that late fees represent just 0.25 per cent of the BWG Library’s annual budget. The report also noted that libraries that have waived late fees in other jurisdictions found an overall increase in circulation after the move was implemented.
“In order to make our resources accessible to everyone in BWG, we are waiving fines for overdue material,” says Andrea Ciurria. “Fines on your account due to overdue material will be removed as soon as possible. Please be patient as we work through issues with technology to implement these changes, but rest assured that any and all fines will be removed from our patrons’ accounts.”
“We take our responsibility to the community seriously and are doing everything in our power to make our collections more accessible for community members,” shares Matthew Corbett, BWG Library CEO.
“By waiving overdue fees, we are acting in the best interest of our community, ensuring that even the most vulnerable members of our community have unfettered access to the resources and material available at the BWG Library.” Please visit www.bradford.library.on.ca for updates.