Kalamazoo Library Wipes Existing Debt & Will Eliminate Late Fees in 2020
Kalamazoo Public Library has announced something huge for those who frequently check things out. During the holiday parade they handed out chocolate coins and bookmarks which announced that beginning Jan. 1, the library will no longer charge daily overdue fines as long as books are less than 30 days overdue, Kalamazoo Public Libraries' website. The library also stated that they will be waiving all current overdue fines on Dec. 31. However, that does not include fines for damaged materials and cases that have already been sent to a collections agency.
Their headline on the website explains the reasoning behind this change, and it makes a lot of sense:
The standard practice of assessing overdue fines has long been justified as a means to motivate borrowers to return materials in a timely manner. However, research has shown that while many users incur late fees, those who are able to pay will keep visiting and borrowing while those who are unable to pay simply stop using the library—and in many instances fail to return overdue materials. Kalamazoo Public Library constantly strives to identify ways to increase library access and improve services for everyone in our community. That is why beginning on January 1, 2020, KPL will be fine-free!
According to MLive, The Library has over 64,000 accounts, 6,000 of which are blocked accounts with a total of $68,675 in outstanding fines. The outstanding debt will be wiped out on Dec. 31.