Library Corner: Grand libraries now fine free |

Library Corner: Grand libraries now fine free

Polly Gallagher
GCLD Executive Director
Executive Director Polly Gallagher sits behind her desk at the Grand County Library District office in Granby earlier this year. The district recently made the decision to go fine free in 2020.
Sky-Hi News file photo

In order to provide greater access to the resources available through Grand County Library District, GCLD has removed overdue fines and room reservation fees.

Over the past decade, the concept of equal access has held lots of discussion in the library community regarding economic status. The question: do late fines inhibit equal access?

GCLD, as a recipient of public funds, needs to be a good steward of our library collection. Our intent is to have a varied and balanced collection available for use. In order to encourage the circulation of the collection and opportunity for other patrons to access, there are processes in place that limit the amount of time one can borrow a book from the community. Along the same lines, fines have been used as a punitive tool to ensure patrons return books on time.

We, in the Grand County community, are good patrons. Sure, we may not always be the most diligent, but we as library users recognize that the resources in the library are for the community, not just one person. We return materials for the sake of allowing others to use them. And, if we lose or damage a library item, we pay for the item and the time it takes to process it. That is being a good patron. With this in mind, starting Jan. 1 Grand County Library District has gone fine free for overdue materials.

Fine free provides patrons a little buffer. A snowstorm, a broken-down car, just one more chapter to read — it’s okay.

Now, GCLD still has to be a good steward, and if a library resource is 21 days overdue, it will be considered lost, and the patron is billed for lost items. But (perform a quick face slap), bring the item back in ASAP and all is good. And yes, if materials aren’t returned or fees paid for lost/damaged items, the account will be blocked until done so.

Also, in an effort to open our doors more to the community and use the space provided through tax dollars, Grand County Library District is no longer charging to reserve meeting rooms in our facilities. Have a band you’re starting and need a practice space? Looking for a place to hold Scrabble nights? Offering a training for pre-school teachers? GCLD might have a space appropriate for your use. Go to for information regarding reserving, usage, and hours. Use the space to help bring the community together.

Don’t let economics inhibit your use of Grand County Library District. As of Jan. 1, Grand County Library District is proud to reduce barriers to access and provide links to boundless opportunities.

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