Alabama library ditches fines for overdue books, says it would rather keep people reading – AL.com

In a Facebook message, Guntersville Public Library said it is now permanently fine free.Guntersville Library
Just read.
That’s the message from one Alabama library that has decided to ditch late fees in order to keep the library open to all.
In a Facebook message, Guntersville Public Library said it is now permanently fine-free.
“Late fines create a financial barrier for some patrons, when their only “crime” was keeping their materials a little too long. If unable to pay, patrons often stop using the library. And we certainly never want anyone to have to choose between paying late fines or paying bills,” the post said.
The library said like most, it has dropped late fines during the COVID pandemic and found the amount generated by fees was “almost negligible.”
“Another thing we found when we eliminated late fines for COVID was our materials were still returned at about the same rate they always were. But going Fine Free doesn’t mean we won’t still charge for Lost/Damaged materials. As always, if you don’t return a book after a period of time, we mark that book Lost and the cost of the book goes on your library account. You can’t check out more materials until it’s returned or paid for,” the library said, adding it will work with those who can’t afford to pay for lost or damaged materials.
“We understand things happen. Come speak to us,” the library said.
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