New York Public Library is the latest system that has eliminated all fees for overdue books and materials.

Anthony W Marx, the president of it, stated that late fees are “ineffective” in encouraging book-returners.

Under the old policy, card holders who had over $15 (£10.96) in fines would have their cards blocked and access to libraries revoked.

Libraries in the city collected more than $3 million in fees alone in 2019.

In 2020 new late fee fees were suspended due to coronavirus pandemic. But they have been permanently removed.

Marx stated in a statement that “for those who can afford to pay the fines they are barely an incentive.”

“For those who aren’t able to afford the fines, disproportionately poor New Yorkers, they can become a real barrier that prevents them from accessing services we cannot accept.”

Every branch in the system will offer giveaways and other special programmes starting 18 Oct to help patrons reconnect with local libraries.

“Libraries can be for all, but monetary fines make it difficult to get library services for the most vulnerable,” said Corey Johnson, a city council speaker. He praised public libraries for making an “important step towards social equity”

There are 92 branches of the city’s library system, which includes ones in Manhattan, Staten Island and Bronx.

New York City now joins the list of major cities such as San Francisco and San Diego that have removed all library late fees. This year, the Boston Public Library declared that all late fees would be eliminated.

Numerous libraries across North America have begun to waive fees, or at the very least have been exempted from paying any fines, to improve access to their services.

In many cities, late fee elimination has been a huge success.

Chicago Public Library stated that thousands of Chicagoans renewed their cards or changed them after 2019’s abolition on fines. The library also reported a 83% rise in book returns within months of the change.

If books or other material is lost, the New York Public Library may still charge replacement fees. No fees are charged if the materials are ultimately returned.



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