Guelph Public Library says goodbye to daily overdue fines

The Guelph Public Library is saying goodbye to daily overdue fines in an effort to provide a more equitable and accessible service to everyone.

The new policy was approved by the library board last year and went into effect on Jan. 1.

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“It’s time to turn a new page and chapter in library services by eliminating these financial barriers and welcoming everyone back into our space,” said library CEO Steven Kraft.

“If you were avoiding the Library due to overdue fees, don’t stress. Your library account has been cleared. We look forward to helping you re-connect to our services, collections and resources.”

Most library items will now be checked out for a two-week time period. They will then be automatically renewed for another two weeks with a maximum of three renewals as long as they have not been requested by someone else.

In a statement, the library said customers are still responsible for the items they borrow and they still need to be returned.

The library will continue to charge fees for items that are lost and damaged as well as replacement fees for items that are 21 days overdue or longer.

Wait times for popular items are not expected to increase significantly, the library said.

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The library cited a 2020 study out of Syracuse University that showed U.S. libraries that have gone fine-free have experienced quicker returns of overdue books.

More information on the new program can be found on the library’s website.

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