The Kaukauna Public Library is an early adopter of a movement that is spreading across the country: eliminating fees for books returned after the due date.
WPR reports that the library is one of a growing number of libraries across the country that’s abolished late fees in order to better serve its community. Around 17 percent of users at the Kaukauna Public Library had blocked accounts due to late fees of $5 or more.
Late fines have the biggest effect on underserved populations like kids, the elderly and those living on fixed incomes, research shows.
Library director, Ashley Thiem-Menning told WPR that the policy change has library patrons feeling relieved.
“The goal is not to keep our books in the building but to have people checking them out and enjoying them,” she said. “It was disheartening to realize that so many people weren’t coming back that had expired cards or weren’t renewing their cards, probably because of the fines on their account.”
Read more about the movement to eliminate library fines here.