On February 3, 2021 the Monterey Park City Council voted unanimously to eliminate overdue fines on library materials at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library and to forgo collection of any outstanding overdue fines. With this important action the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library joins many other libraries locally and nationwide that have gone “fine-free” to remove barriers and expand access to library services for their communities.
“The support of the Monterey Park City Council and the Library Board of Trustees for this change shows recognition of the importance of life-long learning in our community”, says City Librarian Diana Garcia. “The Library is a vital part of our residents’ lives and this change makes access easy, equitable and enjoyable for everyone.”
“Most library users have missed a due date at one point or another. Unfortunately, when these late fines add up, visiting the library can start to feel like a burden, especially on your wallet”, adds Library Board of Trustees President Larry Sullivan. “By eliminating overdue fines, the Library is welcoming back thousands of community members to take full advantage of all that the Library offers.”
This important change marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library as it continues to fulfill its mission to meet the cultural, educational, and informational needs of the residents of the City of Monterey Park by providing free and open access to its resources and services.
How Does the New “Fine Free” Policy Work?
During the Library’s closure to the public due to COVID-19, due dates have been extended and no overdue fines will be assessed. The Library encourages patrons to return library materials on time to make them available to others to borrow.
Once the Library reopens, current loan periods will be reinstated and there will be an added convenience of two automatic renewals for most items. Items will be renewed automatically on the due date. However, if an item is on hold for another person, it will not be renewed and the patron will be asked to return it by the due date.
If an item is not returned, or is damaged or lost, patrons will still be held responsible. Borrowing privileges will be suspended until materials are returned or the Library is compensated for these items. Once items are returned or paid for, any fees are removed from the cardholder account and borrowing privileges are restored.
In addition, fees will still be assessed for replacement library cards, printing, and holds not picked up. Items that are obtained from other libraries through interlibrary loans may be subject to fines through the lending library.
What Programs and Services Does the Library Currently Offer?
Along with tens of thousands of books available via Contactless Checkout, the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library has thousands of eBooks and audiobooks that patrons can access from home, as well as multiple online resources to help residents research, study, find a job, or access needed services. In partnership with the Monterey Park Recreation and Community Services Department, the Library also offers free monthly Home Delivery of library materials to Monterey Park seniors or those physically unable to visit the Library. Individuals who do not currently have a library card can get one by completing a digital library card request here.
The Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library hosts special events and recurring programs and classes every month for children, teens, and adults, including live, virtual Homework Help and Tech Help, English as a Second Language classes, citizenship coaching, and storytimes. Find the library’s live, virtual events and programs on Facebook, YouTube, and the City Website.
Library staff is available to answer questions by telephone Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can also “Text a Librarian” via the new two-way text service with Gabbie® by texting to 626-283-6062 during open hours for information about your account, questions about books or programs, or assistance with library services.
The Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library is the City’s public library located at 318 South Ramona Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91754.
For more City of Monterey Park news and information, please visit the City website at www.montereypark.ca.gov.
Diana Garcia, City Librarian
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