No more late fines at Maricopa County Library District locations
PHOENIX — Scared to go back to a library because your checkout might have incurred a late fee?
Sweat no more. The Maricopa County Library District announced it will waive late fines and no longer charge for overdue books.
The library is confident eliminating fines won’t be a deterrent in people returning books; in fact, there is evidence of quite the opposite.
“By eliminating overdue fines, more people can use library materials and services without the fear of incurring fines they can’t afford to pay,” the website said.
Libraries across the country have seen an increase in return rates after getting rid of the fines and increase library usage, according to the website.
The Maricopa libraries also tweeted that overdue fines often lead to blocked accounts for those “who can least afford them.”
While part of a growing national movement, MCLD is the 1st public library system in AZ to take this step for all customers. Overdue fines can lead to blocked accounts for people who can least afford them. This is a big step in welcoming people in our community back to the library
— MCLDAZ (@mcldaz) May 22, 2019
With that said, borrowers are not allowed to keep books indefinitely. Lost fees still exist, and the library defines a lost book as any that is overdue by 31 days or more.
The library will send three overdue notices before that 31st day, when it sends a bill. If the charge is more than $50 and has not been paid for 60 days, the library will send the customer to collections.
A full extra month without fearing retribution, and then 60 days before you’re sent to collections?
Sounds like plenty of time to sit down with a good book – and then get it back to the library.