Fines in the Library

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Fines in the Library

Megan Ralph

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Five cents a day for an overdue book-that’s how much our library charges per day. Does that seem unfair to you? Some may argue that it is, while others think the daily fine should be raised. In fact, our public library charges $0.25 cents a day per book. People think that the fines teach responsibility, others argue that middle-school-aged children may not be able to afford the fines.

Our school librarian, Ms. Gill, partly agrees with the fines, stating she does not think they should be raised. However, she thinks that the fines teach values. “I think it’s a really great time to start to teach responsibility.” Yet, Ms. Gill says she has a hard time collecting even $0.05 a day. “I’m very lenient, everybody knows that I will dismiss a fine if it’s for a class project.” She does think that students can pay the fines, as they walk by the school library every day.

In fact, there are about $729 in unpaid fines as of December 2018.  These fines are from either lost books raking in cash, or overdue books not being returned. Many think that if the fines are lowered, students may take advantage of the lower charges, raising the debt even more. One seventh-grade student, Ava Pollock, agrees with this concern, even saying we should raise the fines. “People would think ‘It’s just five cents, I can pay ten bucks, it’s fine.’ So, if we raise it a bit, they will have to pay more, and then they will pay.” Ms. Wilson, a language arts teacher, agrees with Ava. “I think they’re fair.” She also thinks that the fines teach accountability and responsibility.

Another student, Lily Toole, disagrees with the fines. “Some people can’t really afford the money to pay. If they lose the book, they can’t afford that much money to give to the library.” Lily says the fine should be lowered to $0.02 per day. She thinks that having a lower fine may actually cause the student to pay the fines, due to the lower cost.

Different opinions, some think the fines are ok, others disagree. Both sides have fair points to their argument. In the end, what do you think about the fines in the library, are they fair, or should you beware?