Library does away with fees for DVDs, changes fine rate
By David Sharos For The Sun February 22, 2013 1:26PM
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:35AM
If you like movies, the Naperville Public Library has just made you very happy.
The Naperville Library Board of Trustees has approved a number of changes in the fee structures that govern both checked out and overdue materials.
Significant changes include the elimination of rental fees for DVDs. The board already discussed eliminating the fees weeks ago and finally made the decision official.
Library Executive Director John Spears said the change reflects the policy of almost every other library in the area.
“We surveyed 22 area libraries and found that less than 10 percent of them require any sort of fee for DVD materials,” Spears told the board. “Essentially, these materials are the same as books, and the public has already paid for them anyway.”
Reciprocal borrowers who are part of the library’s network with other area libraries will also be allowed to rent movies for free. Fines for adult fiction movies will remain at $1 per day.
The board also agreed to raise overdue fees on books from the current rate of 20 cents per day to 25 cents, which Spears said is the first increase in fines “in 20 years.”
“Basically, fines are a choice, since people chose to either bring things back on time or not, and we issue many notices when they are overdue,” he said.
In the area of new business, library officials also voted to approve changes in the library’s programming policy, which up until now required that 60 percent of those taking advantage of staff-led programs, partner programs, on-site programs and off-site programs be Naperville residents.
“We have decided now to look at this on a case-by-case basis, rather than have schools or other groups be made up of at least 60 percent Naperville residents,” Spears said. “This change helps us address issues with certain schools like when we are promoting our summer reading program.
“We also have student board members who attend schools like Benet Academy, which isn’t made up by a majority of Naperville students,” he said. “The proposed changes will allow staff to base service decisions on more relevant factors than strictly on population numbers.”