Two central Illinois libraries dropping late fees

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Mahomet Public Library and the Charleston Carnegie Public Library are no longer charging late fines.

Both libraries announced on Facebook their plans to stop charging fees for returning items past their due dates.

Charleston’s library said their new policy went into effect Monday. It says the late fines were originally implemented as an incentive for patrons to drop off materials in a timely manner. However, the library says those fees have become a barrier to provide services for low-income people, families, and homes. Additionally, it says late fines add to social inequities found within communities.

“Fines neither teach responsibility nor motivate patrons to return items on time,” says the Charleston library. “Instead, fines make patrons less likely to return to the Library, and they keep community members from using their Library out of fear of a fine they cannot afford.

“We believe that every single member of our community deserves equal access to what we provide and removing fines takes us one step closer to ensuring equal access.”

The Mahomet Public Library says on its website says it will not charge late fees for the following items:

  • Books
  • CDs
  • Audiobooks
  • Magazines
  • Single DVDs
  • TV Series and most Multi-disc DVD sets
  • Board games
  • Laptops

It says it still charges $1 per day late for Wi-Fi Hotspots, and for Roku devices. The library says it is not yet ready to loan out Rokus.

Both libraries say people will still have to pay for lost items.

Charleston Carnegie Public Library

Mahomet Public Library

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