• 72°

Troup-Harris Library System Announces Fines-Free Policy

The Troup-Harris Regional Library System recently announced that it will continue to allow patrons to check out and return the library system’s circulating materials free of overdue charges, according to a press release from the Troup-Harris Regional Library System. 

This policy was originally implemented as a courtesy during the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.  The libraries of Troup County have been waiving overdue fees over the past year and a half, the release states.

This policy extension coincides with the library’s reintroduction of large-scale in-person events like the 2021 Summer Reading Program and the library system’s overall mission of being receptive to community needs and providing broad access to free information and materials.  This fines-free policy will be visited upon by the regional board at their September meeting to consider adopting as a permanent change.  In 2019, the American Library Association published a “Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity,” encouraging all public libraries to move towards offering fines-free services.

  In agreement, Troup-Harris Regional Director Keith Schuermann stated that, “Any public library worth their salt places a premium on open access.  It’s been argued that punitive measures such as overdue fines detach our users unnecessarily, and in many cases it’s just not worth it for some in the community to deal with the consequences of our administrative barriers.  From an accounting standpoint, when we consider the amount of salary time staff have to expend to collect, reconcile, and sometimes negotiate balances, it’s a wash.”

For more information on this policy change and the 2021 Summer Reading Program, visit one of the Troup-Harris libraries or their website, www.thrl.org.