This month we’re celebrating! It’s been one year since the library’s launch of its Fine Free initiative! Being Fine Free permanently reduces several barriers to access and services at the library, expanding social justice in Cambridge.
We’re observing Teen Read Week from October 9 through 15, and if you haven’t been to the Teen Room at the Main Library, you’re in for a treat!
Of course, October wouldn’t be complete without some spooky stories. Read on for our librarians’ top scary book picks.
Click here for an update from the City of Cambridge, spotlighting the library's social worker and how she supports our most vulnerable residents.
Finally, if you ever wonder how much the library saves you and your family, use this handy Library Value Calculator. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
I look forward to seeing you soon at the library.
Cambridge Libraries Are Fine Free!
In recent years, more than 100 major libraries in North America have moved to a Fine Free model, representing a commitment to equitable and accessible service while increasing the number of users and books in circulation and reducing the amount of lost material. Cambridge joined these libraries in October 2021 with the launch of its Fine Free initiative.
Studies have shown that low-income families view fines and fees as a deterrent to library use, and it’s clear that fines and fees disproportionately affect low-income families and neighborhoods. The Cambridge Public Library has not charged late fines on children’s and young adult items for many years, and patrons have continued to return those items.
However, before the pandemic, if patrons had more than $10 in fines, they were barred from taking out materials. This impacted 5,700 card holders before the Fine Free initiative went into effect. You can read the initial Fine Free announcement from the library here.
As part of the library’s Fine Free initiative, all overdue fines were cleared from patrons’ accounts, including bills for lost material. “What’s most important to us,” said Joy Kim, Deputy Director of Libraries, “is that all library patrons feel comfortable and confident making full use of what the library has to offer.” Read more from Deputy Director Kim on our blog.
If you’d like to celebrate this milestone, consider making a donation to the Library Foundation, which provides support for the library's programs and services today, and is building an endowment for the challenges that lie ahead.
The Cambridge Public Library Foundation is dedicated to supporting the Cambridge Public Library and its programs that educate, inspire and respond to the needs of our diverse community.