Letter: Overdue book fines teach responsibility

February 10, 2014 

Letter: Overdue book fines teach responsibility

Concerning the Jan. 31 letter from Naveena Bontha; the Richland Public Library is supported by taxes. It is not supported with overdue book fines. The obvious reason for overdue book fines is to remind people to return books on time.

About 75 years ago, when I was a little girl, I didn't get my book returned on time and I was fined 1 cent. When my mother learned about it, she severely scolded me with the admonition that if it happened again I wouldn't be allowed to borrow books from the library.

Teaching children to return books on time is an early lesson on paying attention to deadlines -- paying rent and car payments when they're due and getting to school and appointments on time. The entire civilized world operates on time constraints.

Later in the letter, she uses the word fees rather than fine. An overdue fine is not a fee. There is no fee to borrow a library book. A book borrowed from the public library is public property. Care should be taken to not misplace it, to return it in a timely manner or to have it renewed.


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