Princeton Public Library Hosts Fine Forgiveness Event On Forgiveness Day
Princeton Public Library is celebrating Forgiveness Day on Wednesday with a fine forgiveness event.
The library will forgive overdue fines on returned materials up to $5 per patron. Lost and damaged books are not included in the event.
Julie Wayland, the Princeton Public Library’s director, says the idea for the event came about during a staff meeting.
“When I mentioned National Forgiveness Day, one of our staff members said, ‘Hey, that would be a great day to forgive fines,’ and we all agreed that that would be a really good way to reach out to the community,” Wayland said.
Wayland says reasons patrons don’t return materials include embarrassment and forgetfulness. She says forgiveness is important because it’s never healthy to hold grudges.
“There’s so much benefit not only to the person doing the forgiving, but the person who is being set free from this burden,” Wayland says.
She says the library values people’s privacy.
“We are very forgiving here,” Wayland said. “We’re not going to shame anybody or make them feel bad about it.”
According to Wayland, the day provides an opportunity to wipe out low fine amounts.
“It’s great, because it really wipes the slate clean and you can start fresh,” Wayland said. “I think the importance of this event is to say, there's no stigma here, you know, we're not going to hold it against you.”
She says the people who take advantage of the opportunity can then pay it forward by forgiving others or doing something nice for other people.
The Committee for Education and Cultural Action started Forgiveness Day in 1998.