Mid-Columbia Libraries will no longer charge overdue fines

Mid-Columbia Libraries will no longer charge overdue fines
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Mid-Columbia Libraries will no longer charge overdue fines to its customers starting next year.

Now, customers will have 21 days to return their materials. After that, they will receive three notices to return the item(s). On the day 28, the customer will be charged a replacement fee. However, if the item is eventually returned back, the fee will be waived.

“Even though there won’t be any overdue fines, we do still appreciate our customers bringing their books back on time,” Annie Warren, communications manager, said. “This really benefits our entire community and we want to continue to make those resources available to others who are waiting to check them out.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted on the matter earlier this month. Warren said they believe the decision will help open doors.

“We definitely know fines are a barrier for some people in our community,” Warren said. “We felt like this was the right thing to help increase access for those customers.”

The new policy goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Many public libraries in Washington, such as Seattle Public Library, Spokane Public Library, and
Whatcom County Library System, and across the United States and elsewhere are moving to
eliminate fees for overdue materials as a best practice to serve communities in an equitable
manner.

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