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Cleveland Public Library goes fine-free

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Posted at 10:54 AM, Jul 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-27 10:56:31-04

CLEVELAND — Overdue book fines dragging you down? Well, it’s no longer a worry for patrons of the Cleveland Public Library.

As of Saturday, overdue book fines have been completely eliminated by the library. Previously, fees were eliminated for seniors, children’s materials, disabled individuals, young adult materials and individuals who are homebound. Now no one has to deal with the headache of returning a book late and getting slammed with fines.

The library’s board of trustees voted to go fine-free earlier this year.

“We want to remove barriers, not block people from accessing the Library,” said Cleveland Public Library Executive Director Felton Thomas, Jr. “We want to connect people to knowledge and ideas, not stand in the way. This important step will help us do our everyday work of fostering learning experiences—sparking curiosity, making connections, and building skills every day for all Greater Clevelanders.”

According to library officials, more than 3,000 adults were unable to use their library card because they had fees over the $25 limit. Altogether, the combined fees owed were around $138,000 and averaged about $40 a person.

Officials said the move to a fine-free library will “eliminate the costs associated with pursuing fines and ensure staff time is spent serving patrons, not collecting fines.”

2019 marks the Cleveland Public Library’s 150 anniversary.