January 27, 2022

Free Library of Philadelphia: “Children’s Library Fee Bill Defeated”

From a Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com Blog:

A Council committee defeated a bill Wednesday that would have thwarted the Free Library of Philadelphia’s plan to eliminate late fees for children – a move recommended by librarians to prevent cutting off poor children from library services.

Councilman David Oh, the primary sponsor, said about $70,000 of the $400,000 in late fees collected last year came from children’s books and material. He said individual librarians have the freedom to forgive late fees if they believe families cannot afford to pay – although a librarian who later testified disputed that she had that power.


Robert C. Heim, chair of the Free Library’s Board of Trustees, said there needs to be a balance between Oh’s goal to teach children responsibility and the needs of poor children. He urged the committee to reject the bill.

“We have strong concerns about the efficacy, impact and both short and long-term implications of this bill,” he said.

Much More in the Complete Philly.com Article

Here’s the Full Text of the Defeated Bill

City of Philadelphia, Bill No. 13035901, As Amended

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.