From the Vancouver Public Library:
Vancouver Public Library today announced its Welcome Back Week to re-engage patrons who may be reluctant to return to the library owing to accumulated overdue fines.
“This is a truly unique initiative – and one we’re excited to be able to bring to the community,” says the library’s board chair, Catherine Evans.
“We know that some people simply stay away from the library when they have long overdue books,” she says. “We miss those patrons, and we’ve launched our Welcome Back Week to encourage them to come back – without worrying about fines for those items that may have built up over months or years.”
Welcome Back Week will run from Oct. 21-27 across the entire VPL system. During that time patrons can return their long overdue materials – those that are more than six weeks overdue – in person, to any branch, without having to pay the associated charges.
“A library is the community hub – a place for everyone to connect, learn and enjoy, regardless of circumstance and financial means,” says VPL chief librarian Sandra Singh. “This month is Canadian Library Month, so what a wonderful time to welcome back patrons in this way.”
It’s the first time that VPL has offered a program like this, and the library expects that word will spread quickly throughout the community.
“This is the first time we’ve done this, and I don’t expect it will happen again anytime soon,” says Singh, who notes that the library does rely on overdue fees to offset operating expenses.
VPL has 350,000 active card holders and 21 branches.