New York Public Library to eliminate all late fees



The New York Public Library has become the latest and largest system to eliminate all fees on overdue materials and books.

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Its president Anthony W Marx said late fees were "an ineffective way" of encouraging people to return books.

Under the old policy, card holders who had over $15 (£10.96) in fines would have their cards blocked and access to libraries revoked.

The city's libraries collected over $3 million in fees in 2019 alone.

New late fee charges were suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now they will be permanently eliminated.

"For those who can afford the fines, they are barely an incentive," Mr Marx said in a statement.

"For those who can't afford the fines - disproportionately low income New Yorkers - they become a real barrier to access that we can no longer accept."

To welcome newcomers or New Yorkers back to libraries, all branches in the systems will have a week, starting 18 October, of giveaways and special programmes to encourage patrons to stop by, return material or reconnect with their local libraries.

"Libraries are for everyone yet monetary fines create barriers to accessing library services for those who need it most,'' said city council speaker Corey Johnson as he commended the public libraries systems for taking an "important step to advance social equity."

The city's public library system has 92 locations and includes branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, and the Brooklyn and Queens Public Library.

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I think that is actually a bright idea. Personally, I find the late fees quite discouraging, that's why I always return them on time even when I haven't finished the books yet. I just lose the hype when I borrow it again.

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