“The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library intends to soon stop fining patrons for overdue books, joining a growing national trend to support some of the most vulnerable library patrons.”
“What’s important is that people use their libraries. We want to make sure that our community has access to the materials and services we provide,” said a statement from the BCLS. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not charged any overdue fines so patrons had one less thing to worry about, so we are already positioned to join the many other libraries across the state who are fine free. Fines account for less than one-half of one percent of our revenues.”
“While libraries all over the country have followed suit on eliminating fines, [Executive Director] Jones said she believes San Diego is the only library system that has a social equity component to its matching funds policy.”
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) created an interactive map of libraries that have gone fine free (regularly updated).
Charlotte will construct a new, $100 million Main Library uptown.
Lee Keesler, CEO of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, visited more than 25 community spaces in five countries as part of his research for the new Main Library.
To date, Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the largest library system in the country to go fine-free. Starting October 1, CPL will eliminate overdue fines on all CPL-owned items currently in circulation, which it said will remove barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income patrons.