Check it out! Brooklyn Public Library to Stop Charging Late Returns • Brooklyn Paper
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They close the book on late fees!
The Brooklyn Public Library will officially end the practice of collecting late fees, joining other New York City library systems in making the joint announcement on October 5.
The president of the Brooklyn Library System said the move was aimed at getting people back into the library system after many of them stayed away during the pandemic.
“We want to make sure people come back to the library,” Linda Johnson told Brooklyn Paper. “We want to make sure that the people who need us most are not intimidated or feel any barrier to their return. ”
New York Libraries now join lenders in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Seattle and Dallas in eliminating fines, in a bid to increase library systems usage and operate a larger library system. fair. New York is so far the largest American city to adopt this policy.
As of this week, any library user with fines on their account will have their fees waived, and no user will accumulate them in the future. More than 400,000 library users currently owe late fees, more than half of them in communities in need, according to the library.
The Brooklyn Public Library found that most of its users with blocked cards were in more disadvantaged communities. The branches with the most blocked cards were in neighborhoods where more than 20% of residents live below the federal poverty line and where most people earn less than $ 50,000 per year on average.
Late fees have been in place since library systems were founded in the early 20th century. Under the previous policy, users would have their accounts frozen if they accumulated more than $ 15 in fines.
The library had previously suspended fines during their pandemic shutdown and kept them suspended until the summer of 2021. Johnson said the initial fine-free period taught them the importance of falling books – receptacles for return books outside of library branches – and make them as easy as possible for customers to use the system.
“We try to make it easier for them, but at the same time, we let them know that we really want them to come back,” Johnson said.
In order to ensure that library users will always return their books on time, Johnson said the library will focus its efforts on communication, without the risk of fines, although readers are still required to pay for any books lost. or ‘long awaited.
“It’s still due at the end of the fine period, you just won’t get a daily fine,” she said. “We will always notify you when your book is overdue. ”