Philadelphia Free Library drops fines for overdue books


The Free Library of Philadelphia wants folks to get access to books without worrying about late fees. 

On Wednesday, the Board of Trustees voted to approve a measure that would eliminate overdue fines across the free library system. 

“We are delighted to be able to join many libraries across the country in removing overdue materials fines as a barrier for customers,” Board of Trustees Chair Pamela Dembe said on the Free Library’s blog.

It was reported by ABC that there will still be fees for books that are destroyed or lost. 

The policy by the Board of Trustees reads: 

“Effective at a date to be determined: The Free Library of Philadelphia does not charge fines for most overdue materials. There are fees for items that are lost or destroyed. The fees are the cost of the item, as listed in the catalog. The Library also accepts new or gently used copies of lost or destroyed material as replacement in lieu of payment. If lost materials are returned or replaced, there is no penalty. The language of this policy supersedes that of existing policies.”

The Free Library of Philadelphia reports that the current fine policy will stay in place until staff training, technical, and logistics can be implemented.

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