MISSOULA - The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana has eliminated most overdue library fines.
UM students and employees will no longer be charged overdue fines on most books and media. In addition, general item checkout for undergraduate students has increased from three weeks to four months. This increase matches the loan period for graduate students.
“The fees created a potential barrier for students,” Megan Stark, UM undergraduate services librarian said. “We know that access to library resources is critical to student success, so in the interest of increasing their success, we committed to eliminating this barrier.”
Based on student requests, the library recently engaged in an analysis and discussion of library fines. The 2019 American Library Association’s “Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequality” was used as a guide.
“At this point in time, it is not a radical idea to eliminate library overdue fines on most items checked out,” Barry Brown, UM’s interim library dean said. “We’re confident that the goodwill generated and the positive impact on student success will outweigh any decline in revenue.”
Some specialized items such as course reserve materials or laptop computers will continue to generate overdue fines.