January 23, 2022

California: Oakland Public Library Developing Pilot Program to Reduce or Eliminate Fines, Fees For Kids

From the Bay Area News Group:

…the [Oakland Public Library] is developing a pilot program to reduce or eliminate many of the fines and fees they can run up.

The Oakland City Council quickly got on board with the plan, unanimously endorsing it following a presentation by Director of Library Services Gerry Garzon on July 26.

The way things are now, if patrons rack up fines of $12.50 or more, they are barred from borrowing until they bring that balance down to no more than $12. Accordingly, 58,515 people, or 12 percent of the library’s patrons, are unable to check anything out, according to a report Garzon presented.


“This is not the same environment that we may all have lived in at one time,” Garzon reminded the council, noting some families struggle with displacement, living with a single parent or grandparents, moving from one home to another or just trying to get around.

“Frankly, it’s those kids that need to be using our libraries so they become lifelong readers,” he said.

Read the Complete Article

NOTE: The complete report about the pilot that was presented at the July 26, 2016 meeting by Director of Library Services, Gerry Garzon (and mentioned in the article), is available here (9 pages; PDF) and also embedded below.

Oakland Public Library Agenda Report by LJ's infoDOCKET on Scribd

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.