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Library Late Fees - Not Just Ineffective, but Harmful
Posted by Lori Ayre on July 12, 2021
There are lots of articles about why libraries should eliminate late fees. Here's my take on the topic. It's a white paper and the objective of the paper is to articulate the reasons it really makes no sense to continue charging late fees for library materials. I hope you can share this paper with your trustees and city/county officials to help them understand why late fees just need to go away.
ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of libraries have eliminated late fees because they are ineffective at promoting the timely return of materials, and argue that they undermine the mission of the library to provide equitable access to library services and resources. In eliminating late fees, many libraries have discovered that the use of the library increases without the rate of overdue returns, and in some cases even reducing the number of late returns. These libraries also report improved relationships between their library staff and the community.