Phoenix, Arizona – The Phoenix area has a large network of modern libraries. One library is the Cesar Chavez library in south Phoenix. It is next to a large park and lake. The library is spacious, modern, and engages in community outreach. It is important for the surrounding community and is often a meeting places for groups. It is also a good place to reach out to if you are in need of reference materials as they have a full-time librarian.
The library wants to draw people in and have created numerous activities and groups for all ages. For the children’s section they have weekly reading groups and a Pokemon club among other things. For seniors, they have Walk With Eaze, where they gather, walk around the lake and then rest and do some reading. One patron, Angelina Morales, said she was attracted “to the book collection and quiet” and goes to the library on most days.
The most interesting change to the library is that they are forgiving all late fines and are not charging fines in the future. They have found that late fees do not increase a person’s chances of turning the books in on time and if the late fees add up they are less likely to come to the library and select books to read. The Joan Flores, Assistant Branch Manager, said, “We want to draw people to the library and not exclude them from the library. Getting rid of late fees is a major step in doing this. Plus, they might be likely to participate in various community outreach programs.”
Libraries have dwindled in the number of patrons https://www.imls.gov/research-evaluation/data-collection/public-libraries-surveyover the years. With easy access to research on the internet, online books, tablets, Kindle Unlimited and other sources, libraries seem like an inconvenience. But some still go to study, use the computers if they don’t have consistent access to one, find out about public benefits, and generally just enjoy a quiet atmosphere to think. Libraries still have a strong future and community outreach as well as not charging fines will encourage more patrons to visit their community library.
For more information go to www.phoenix.gov.
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