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Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System goes fine-free

Booneville Democrat
Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System

Beginning Jan. 1, libraries within the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System (ARVRLS) have eliminated late fees in Franklin, Johnson, Logan and Yell counties. The ARVRLS Regional Board of Trustees voted in favor of this decision at the fourth-quarter board meeting.

Removing late fines is becoming a national trend as more and more libraries across the country are taking the leap to go fine-free. A careful assessment of fine revenue demonstrated a steady decrease within recent years. Not only have fine revenues gradually decreased but fines account for less than 0.5% of library revenue regionwide.

“Library fines present economic barriers to access library materials. Throughout the pandemic, our libraries removed overdue fines and other unnecessary barriers but retained quality services and programming options,” says ARVRLS Director Misty Hawkins. “By eliminating overdue fines, it shifts the library from a punishment mentality and builds trust within our communities.”

Patrons are still expected to return library materials on time. Items have due dates and materials should be returned as marked. Materials can be renewed two times if there are no requests. Renewals can be made online, by phone or in person. If an item is not returned or is returned damaged, patrons will be charged for lost or damaged items.

“The intent is to keep people using the library and materials without fear of being financially strapped by their overdue items. We want our patrons back,” stated Brittany Downs, branch manager at Logan County Library.

The Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System has served Franklin, Johnson, Logan and Yell counties since 1959. For more information on obtaining a library card or valuable library resources, please call (479) 229-4418 or visit arvrls.com.