Library Fines Amnesty Day

Library Honors Benefactor with Overdue Materials Amnesty Day

For the first time in more than 25 years, Anchorage Public Library will forgive fines on overdue materials if they are returned on Wednesday, April 18. You can take advantage of this amnesty by returning any overdue library items you have to any of APL’s five locations.

The amnesty event is a way of recognizing a significant gift from long-time resident and library user Alfred Hanisch, who died in December, 2010. Mr. Hanisch’s spirit of community involvement inspired the Library to find a way to celebrate his generosity with our patrons.

“This is a pretty rare event for us,” said Nancy Tileston, interim APL director. “The last one was in the early ‘80s, when Loussac Library was still downtown and before we went live with our first automated circulation system. The reason then was to get back as many overdue books as possible to stock the shelves at the new library location at 36th and Denali.”

Getting back overdue materials is another major reason the library administration scheduled the overdue material amnesty.

“Anecdotal evidence leads us to believe a lot of people stop using the library when they have overdue items,” Tileston said. “Sometimes from guilt and sometimes from fear of a large fine, they hold onto library materials and stop coming to the library. We want the materials back but we also want those people back as active library users.”

The overdue-fine forgiveness is not all inclusive. It applies only to items turned in that 24-hour period, and not to outstanding fines already on a patron’s record. While overdue fines will be waived for damaged materials that are returned, cardholders will still be charged for the damage.

The Library is celebrating National Library Week all month and selected the date to coincide with this celebration. Besides Z.J. Loussac Public Library in midtown, APL has neighborhood libraries in Eagle River, Muldoon, Mountain View and Girdwood. All locations are participating in the Overdue Materials Amnesty Day.