BHM Library begins fine forgiveness month
Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The Beaufort-Martin-Hyde Regional Library is putting the past behind it with fine forgiveness month.
For the month of February, the library’s eight locations are waiving overdue fines, no matter how long the item was checked out, in an effort to encourage people to start coming back. Patrons must simply bring the overdue materials, and the slate will be wiped clean, so to speak.
“Everyone forgets sometimes, but a large overdue fine can make it tempting to avoid the library altogether,” a press release stated.
Hannah Easley, director at BHM Library, said that even she is guilty of forgetting to return materials, and while the fines are in place to ensure items are returned, growing fees can discourage customers from coming back.
“Fines can add up really quickly when you check out multiple books per child,” said Allison Mitchell, youth services librarian, in the release. “We don’t want that to be something that keeps families from being able to use the library.”
Easley said she is not concerned about the library losing money because typically, these are materials the library would never have gotten back in the first place. Instead of losing out on an unreturned item, as well as the overdue fine, the library locations will be able to get the items back, she said.
“Generally, you never get that money back anyway,” Easley said. “I’m not really concerned with people taking advantage of it. … I think, you know, most people try really hard to bring their books back anyways.”
“What we’re really trying to do is bring back people who haven’t been here in a while,” she said.
The BHM Library branches in Beaufort County include: Headquarters Library in Washington; Hazel W. Guilford Memorial Library in Aurora; Bath Community Library; and Belhaven Public Library.