Requiring Inevitable Library Fees


Angelina Abdelrahman, Editorial Editor

Checking out a book at the Preuss library has a 2-3 week deadline before a fee is given to the individual. Every day the book is not turned in, the library averages a 5 cent fee.

The middle schoolers are having their annual Winter Formal, December 16th, and one of the requirements to attend is to have all your library fees paid for. This may anger students because it restricts them from a fun event but library fees are inevitable.

“It provides the students with knowledge that I have to turn it in or there’s a consequence,” Ms. Maria Gonzalez, Preuss librarian, explains.

Library fees and deadlines for turning in a book are necessary because they provide students with a small sense of responsibility. Requiring students to pay a fine in the early stages of their education (middle school and high school) will induce sustaining deadlines. Keeping up and meeting deadlines is a key skill that everyone needs to gain in life. Deadlines are used in jobs and for school that if not met will negatively affect a person’s life.

Not only are these fees important for responsibility, but if an individual does not turn in their books on time, others will not have the opportunity to read those books which is unfair. The individual waiting in line may need the book for a school project or personal interest, and it’s wrong to starve them from that privilege.

“We have a limited amount of books for students so if a student does not return a book and keeps it for a year without having that penalty, then it keeps away from the hands of other students,” Ms. Gonzalez comments.

Providing consequences for students in their middle school years in particular will give them a sense of reality. Middle school is the time when students are given the benefit of the doubt and are easily forgiven for their mistakes. This starves them from the reality of what occurs in high school and college. Professors and high school teachers expect their students to meet deadlines and do their best work. If the student does not, there are harsh consequences, for example, a failing grade. Library fees illustrate a consequence, because paying for a book can be a burden for middle school students.

“Any students who knows they have to pay a fee will turn in a book earlier or on the date then later, especially if they don’t like to pay fines,” Ms. Gonzalez explains.

Library fees should continue to be required and distributed, not only at Preuss, but in libraries everywhere. They are a small stepping stone for middle school students who need to learn about responsibility and do not stop other individuals from the books they need or want. Books are a privilege that Preuss students obtain that students in other countries do not have, so they should be respected and turned in on time.