In the past, late fees were seen as a method of ensuring that our books were returned and that people were responsible when borrowing materials. It is, however, more complex than that—fines neither raise funds nor align with public libraries’ purpose. In fact, charging late fees for overdue materials is doing more harm than good.
We can use Reader’s Advisory to both ensure that our communities feel seen and that they discover new voices and cultures by working on polices, merchandising, book lists, and handselling.
In Library Land, the pandemic has exposed inherent fragilities including discriminatory class and race based practices. In turn, these praxis reveal that public libraries have a history of being agents of social control and exclusion.
I have been waiting for a statement from my local library on the recent protests aimed at confronting systemic anti-black racism in our North American society and across the Western world. It has been weeks and I am still waiting.
There is a strong need to explicitly acknowledge deeply embedded racist thinking in order to move towards systemic change in public libraries.
At the 2017 Computers in Libraries conference, a librarian asked “Do you use your 3D printer, as a service or resource?" This seemed like…