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Cuyahoga County Public Library eliminates daily overdue fines, forgives existing fines

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Jan 27, 2022

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — To mark and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the library system's board of trustees has approved no more daily overdue fines.

The library said for one time only, it will forgive every cardholder's fines and fees on their current account.

"Why are we going fine free? Well, we understand that life happens, and most of us have found ourselves late at some point returning a library item. For our most vulnerable customers, those overdue fines can sometimes mean the difference between accessing important library materials or having to go without. We don’t want anyone to face a financial barrier to using the library," CCPL said in a news release.

The fine-free policy went into effect on Jan. 26.

The library said fines have historically represented less than 1% of the library's annual revenue.

So without a fine, what's the incentive to return library material?

"With the new fine free policy, any library items that are not returned more than 21 days after their due date will be considered 'lost.' When an item is lost, borrowers are charged a replacement fee. When a lost item is returned, the replacement fee is cleared – that’s a strong incentive to bring items back to the Library," CCPL said.

More info on the new policy here.

The new fine-free policy follows Cleveland Public Library's 2019 policy that eliminated overdue book fines.

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