Annapolis, MD – January 6, 2020 – Officials from the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) today announced that all children and teen books, movies and music are now fine free. Additionally, the library also waived $754,637 in old fines and fees for customers under 18 and outstanding late charges on children and teen materials for adult accounts. More than 33,000 people received the New Year’s surprise saving on average $22.
The annoucement, made at an event at the Brooklyn Park Library, featured County Executive Steuart Pittman, School Superintendent George Arlotto and 42 preschoolers from Park Elementary. The County Executive proposed and County Council approved supplemental funding enabling the library to eliminate the fines.
“Fines are a barrier that disproportionately impact people without the means to pay. As a public institution, we have a responsibility to make our items available to as many people as possible. Removing these fines (while still requiring the items to be returned) will allow more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment and inspiration,” said CEO Skip Auld.
“Eliminating the burden of debt on the backs of children and young adults who want to use library resources is a great step in making the county the Best Place for All,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “This initiative is a great fix to breaking down barriers, especially among our most vulnerable county residents.”
“The library offers so many different opportunities for our students and everyone else to expand their horizons,” Dr. Arlotto said. “Removing this potential obstacle is one more step to ensuring that children are excited about visiting the library and can get the absolute most out of the books and other materials they borrow.”
While fines will no longer be charged on children and teen materials, items must come back to the library in a timely fashion and replacment costs will be charged after 30 days. Damaged materials will also be assessed a replacement charge.
For more information on the new initiative, visit the library’s website at www.aacpl.net/children-fines.