County Libraries Go Fine Free to Ensure Equity

All current library fines for overdue books have been erased and new fines will not be levied as Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) go fine free as of Feb. 1.

Similar to 200 library systems around the country, MCPL is ending fines so that people who want to borrow books or digital materials will no longer need to worry if they can afford the fine.

“We know that some people are reluctant to use the Library because they’re worried about the fines,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo in a news release. “We hope that anyone who stopped using our wonderful libraries will come back and take advantage of our great services.”

Libraries that have already adopted a fine free policy have experienced increases in circulation, library card registrations and materials returned that were previously labeled lost. These libraries “have not reported any increase in materials not being returned because of the new policy,” according to the news release.

Checked out materials will continue to have due dates, and customers will receive notices when their materials are due to be returned. Library users will be responsible for returning materials and will be charged for the cost of replacing lost or damaged materials.


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