Overdue fines will officially be a thing of the past at the Penticton Public Library in 2022.
On Thursday, the library announced they are going “overdue fine free” once the new year comes around.
Returning a book late to the library won’t result in any financial consequences and according to chief librarian Heather Buzzell, others across North America are going in the same direction.
“While for some a $2 overdue fine might not be a big deal, for others it may mean they stop using the library,” the chief librarian said. “It’s awful to hear about seniors or families who hesitate to use the library because of the threat of overdue fines. And when you have a big bag of items checked out, those fines can add up quickly.”
In October, the library stopped charging late fees because of the Food for Fines drive to benefit Keep the Cold off Penticton. But today, the temporary change was announced as a permanent one once the calendar flips to January.
“Overdue fine revenues have also been declining for years,” the library said in a press release. “In 2022, the library will have a new boost to its funding through the Library Legacy Fund managed by the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, and the library decided this would be an excellent use of those funds.”
There are still cases, however, where it will be business as usual at the library in 2022.
When somebody has possession of an overdue book, the library will now send email notifications reminding those individuals to return their items. And if those particular items are 30 days overdue or more, a replacement fee will be placed on their account.
The library also said that replacement fees for lost or damaged items will still apply.
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