January 3, 2023
NPL removes an outdated and ineffective financial barrier in its mission to provide equitable access for all.
NASHUA, NH – The Nashua Public Library is kicking off 2023 with a historic change in its borrowing policy. Starting on January 1, 2023, the library will no longer charge or collect fines on overdue items. It’s also cleared all overdue fines from current accounts in its system, affecting some 40,000 Nashua library card holders.
By taking this step, the library is joining a growing national movement among public libraries to remove a major barrier to library use. Research shows that not only are overdue fines ineffective incentives for returning items, but they are also a tremendous barrier to using the library for some of the city’s most underserved populations. This includes low-income families and the neurodivergent community, which library staff confirmed while speaking to community members, nonprofit leaders, and business owners this fall.
Following this research, NPL Director Jennifer McCormack brought forward a proposal to the Nashua Public Library’s Board of Trustees to remove this outdated financial barrier at a trustee meeting in October. The Board unanimously agreed.
While this decision affects the majority of fines, customers will still incur some fees. They will be charged for lost or damaged articles and overdue fees for select Inter-Library Loans transactions.
As an essential civic institution founded on the ideals of free and open access to knowledge for everyone, the library is passionately committed to ensuring equal access to its services, resources, and programs. Removing this barrier strengthens the library’s mission to be a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for everyone in the community to explore the extraordinary number of materials and services that the library offers. Library staff encourages anyone who felt unwelcome at the library to come back in 2023 and enjoy borrowing items without stress, judgment, or the barrier of fines.
Customers with questions can visit the library, call us at (603) 589-4600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.