AS OF SEPT 14: We have made schedule changes at Riverton and Burbank in order to expand their pickup hours. See the new schedule here -- PPL To Go Place a hold. Wait for your pickup notice. Then make an appointment to pick it up. We look forward to seeing you! Our COVID-19 page continues to have links to current health information in multiple languages. Reference will be answering questions Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, 871-1700 x725. If you would like to get a library card, please email lending@portlib.org
X

Life of the Library

What’s new?


Portland Public Library Eliminates Overdue Fines

posted: , by Heather Wasklewicz
tags: Adults | Teens | Parents & Teachers | Kids & Families | Discover Portland | News

Portland, ME, Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Portland Public Library (PPL), joining a growing movement in public libraries across the country, will eliminate overdue fines for all patrons, effective September 1. Currently, the Library is not charging new overdue fines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Payment for lost/damaged items can be made at: https://catalog.portland.lib.me.us/patroninfo

Increasingly, research shows that while people are equal in returning books on time, they are not equal in their ability to pay overdue fees which can result in the loss of access to the library. Evidence shows that this disproportionately harms people of color and people from lower-income households. The Library leadership and Board of Trustees believe this policy change ensures that our public library is living up to its commitment to provide free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning, and the joys of reading for our diverse community.

PPL has explored eliminating fines for several years, looking for ways to replace the revenue generated, totaling nearly 2% of the annual budget. Oddly, the COVID crisis presented the opportunity, as the financial turmoil created by the pandemic forced the Library to reevaluate every line item in the budget. PPL will use a portion of the individual donations to its Annual Fund to help offset this loss of revenue. Coupled with the national dialogue about racial and social inequity, the Board saw the opportunity to join colleagues in many major urban library systems such as San Francisco, Nashville, and Chicago to remove this significant barrier to library access.

“Eliminating fines allows PPL to realize our long-term goal to best implement the core values of librarianship – the unfettered access to all the Library can offer,” says Sarah Campbell, Executive Director of Portland Public Library. “We look forward to welcoming back those patrons who simply could not afford to clear their accounts. We hope that some long-lost items may make their way back as well. There is every reason to return them now.”

Studies have shown that overdue fines are not an effective tool to encourage timely returns, but often serve the opposite function. Libraries that have eliminated fees report multiple positive outcomes:

  • Increased patron access to materials and services, particularly for low-income and marginalized patrons and their children
  • Record returns of borrowed materials
  • Reduction of the inequitable impact of overdue fines
  • Improved patron relationships with their library
  • Optimization of library staff time and increased staff efficiency

The Library is also eliminating fees for replacing lost library cards. Patrons who need a new card in order to access Library services can contact Lending Services at lending@portlib.org or 207-871-1700 ext. 730. While fines for overdue materials will no longer be collected or billed, some patrons may see outstanding fines on their accounts temporarily as Library staff works to update the system and clear accounts. The Library will still charge fees for items that are lost or damaged. Donations to help defray the costs of eliminating fines can be made at www.portlandlibrary.com/donate.

 


Maine Voices: Portland Public Library committed to welcoming you back safely

posted: , by Heather Wasklewicz
tags: Adults | Teens | Parents & Teachers | Kids & Families | Discover Portland | Seniors

BY  PETER RICHARDSON AND SARAH CAMPBELL SPECIAL TO THE PRESS HERALD

 

 

We’re offering a popular no-contact pickup service, we’re seeking submissions for a COVID archive and we’ll soon eliminate overdue fines.


We Are Grateful

posted: , by Heather Wasklewicz
tags: Adults | Parents & Teachers | Discover Portland

Sarah Campbell, Executive Director
Portland Public Library

As your Library, we are grateful for our patrons and our partners with whom we can create conversation, illumination, and togetherness year-round!

How about one of these for your new year’s resolution? Use the Library in a way you’ve never tried!

Want to speak a new language, perhaps with a new neighbor? Try Mango Languages online!

Have you tried e-books and e-audiobooks for adults or Tumble Books for kids?

Check outscience backpack or a telescope for a self-guided adventure!

Learn a new tech tool with our free public computing Technology Tutoring.

Build the community’s environmental resilience by participating in our Sustainability Series (now in its 3rd year)!

Get started on your winning idea in one of our Business Workshops.

Make your next book group easier by checking out a book discussion set (multiple copies of one title in various formats).

All of this is amazing… and free…because of the generous support of our patrons, our neighbors, and our community. We are proud to be your Library where, every day, we share the whole truth … and some fiction!
View Posts by Date:
Filter Posts:
Connect with the Library: