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Homer Public Library eliminates late fees


In an effort to keep books and other materials circulating in the community as much as possible, the Homer Public Library has gone fine-free.
     “Many Homer library book borrowers have been late returning books to the library, nothing to be ashamed about. It happens to many of us. Hear ye hear ye our library has joined the nationwide movement in eliminating all overdue fines,” said Kate Finn, giving the Library Advisory Board report during last week’s Homer City Council meeting.
    “There will still be charges, however, for lost or damaged items, but overdue fines are no more. So far the response from the public of course has been really positive. And I want to thank the council so much for approving these changes,” she said.
    The council took that action at its July 27 meeting.
    “As those on the council and many people in town know the library has been very busy this summer, including with the summer reading and learning program that wraps up on the 15th and kudos to all the people who have adjusted so quickly to this completely new version, um, of the program during these COVID times. Under the new digital format partnering with other Alaska libraries. Kids have continued to log in there many, many reading and learning hour,” she said.
    Finn also recommended the library’s Story Walk as a way to see the world through the eyes of others.
     “The story features what I think is the most appropriate book for this month, it's called eye to eye, how animals see the world by Steve Jenkins. It describes and illustrates a myriad of ways that different species of animals from a colossal squid that has an eyeball, the size of a basketball to worms, dragonflies, vipers and butterflies, all having a different way of seeing the world. Every animal's world is valid and useful for them," Finn said. "The illustrations are great, the story, and the story reminded me of the multitude of ways that humans view their own personal world, uh, and how maybe we could all offer each other a little nonjudgmental understanding as we hear various viewpoints.”
    Finn also reported that the library’s internet service is about to expand as well.
    “I just would like to note what was mentioned earlier here in the council meeting, is that the wifi access to the library parking lot is being expanded for people's personal access and possibly as soon as late this week. So that's great,” she said.
    Finn also noted that the free food distribution program will continue even with school restarting soon.
    “The grab and go food distribution has been ongoing this summer again in cooperation with our local food pantry. And this will continue into the foreseeable future, even though the school year is starting. It ended last year at the beginning of the school year. It's not going to this year.”
    Many library services remain restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, but remain available by appointment. Check the library’s website for details.