Fine Forgiveness at Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach
Amnesty for overdue and lost materials runs April 3 through May 14
Inspired by West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s pledge of West Palm Beach as a City of Kindness, the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach wants to forgive and reconnect with long-lost patrons during its Fine Forgiveness Program. Beginning April 3 through May 14, 2017, the Library will waive all late fees, no matter how long overdue, as well as charges for lost materials including books, CDs, DVDs and other items. The goal of the campaign is to recover thousands of outstanding items and welcome back thousands of patrons whose access to library materials has been impeded by overdue fines or charges associated with lost materials.
The Fine Forgiveness Program would require cardholders to come into the library with current identification to verify their address and return any overdue materials. Fines for those overdue materials would be waived, and charges associated with lost items would also be waived during the six week amnesty period only. The amnesty program would apply only to items checked out before the April 3, 2017 amnesty period begins. Fines and lost book charges for Interlibrary Loan items (borrowed from other libraries) will not be waived at any time. Each cardholder must be present to be eligible for forgiveness and families are encouraged to visit together.
“The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach is committed to eliminating barriers to accessing important library services,” shared Chris Murray, Library Director at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. “It is especially important that all children have access to the library and restoring privileges to our juvenile cardholders would allow them access to vital summer programs and services. We are proud to support Mayor Muoio’s Kindness Pledge.”
The goal of the program is to recover as many of the unreturned items and to reinstate as many of the 17,627 blocked cardholders as possible. Of the 13,302 juvenile cardholders, nearly 42% are blocked from accessing crucial children’s programming. Over the past 10 years, the Mandel Public Library has lent 7,775,477 items including books, DVDs, CDs and digital resources.
“We’re excited to welcome back residents and families to the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and to provide necessary literacy resources to thousands of local children,” shared Mayor Muoio. “This amnesty campaign is a shining example of our commitment to create a kinder, more gracious city.”
As an additional incentive, library staff members will engage in random acts of kindness, to coincide with Mayor Muoio’s City of Kindness Pledge, to reward patrons with tokens of appreciation once the items are returned and the cards are reinstated.
Mayor Muoio signed the pledge on February 14 with the hope of creating a culture of kindness in the City. Since the launch of the #TeamKindnessWPB movement, residents and local organizations have performed community cleanups, randomly distributed $2 bills to new friends, and donated books and teddy bears to young children.
Once library cards are reactivated, residents will gain access to the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach’s impressive menu of services including employment preparation training, engaging children’s programming, literary discussions, fitness classes and nearly 500,000 online eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, and music. These digital items are automatically returned at the end of the load period and therefore cannot be lost or accrue overdue fines.
Patrons interested in participating in the program should stop by the library reception desk with a current ID or contact the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach at (561) 868-7700 for more information.