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Randolph libraries are now fine-free

ASHEBORO — Borrowers with late books, DVDs and other items checked out from the Randolph County Public Libraries can return them without fear or penalty as overdue fines become a thing of the past.
 
The Randolph County Public Libraries Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday, Jan. 13, to abolish fines on overdue library materials, except for loaned technology such as mobile hotspots.

The libraries in Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Randleman and Seagrove are part of the Randolph County Public Libraries system.
 
The change takes effect immediately: Overdue fines on items checked out will not accrue and past overdue fines are forgiven. Fees for replacement of lost library cards also were eliminated.
 
“We believe — and evidence shows — that becoming fine free will make the library easier for everyone to use and get more people in the community reading, while promoting better stewardship of library resources,” Library Director Ross Holt said.
 
The move comes as research and practice in the library field increasingly shows that fines do not have much of an impact on return of library materials, but do deter people from using libraries, with fines often hitting people who can least afford them the hardest.
 
On the other hand, eliminating fines increases library visits and checkouts, but does not significantly lengthen return time of checked out material.

Elimination of fines also prompts the return of long overdue items.
 
In recent years, 27 library systems in North Carolina have abolished fines, including Alamance, Greensboro and High Point. The trend is nationwide as well, with libraries small and large going fine-free.
 
Some fees will remain in force and will be pursued by the libraries, including those for items lost by borrowers or declared lost after 45 days overdue, and damaged items.

Fees for computer printouts, photocopies and faxes also will continue.
 
Due date will remain, and borrowers will continue to receive automated reminders when items are overdue.
 
For more information, call the Asheboro Public Library Circulation Department at 336-318-6801 or contact your local library.