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Jackson District Library is going "fine free" beginning September

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Posted at 9:41 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 09:41:23-04

JACKSON, Mich. — Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1 Jackson District Library will no longer fine you for overdue materials. They are also retroactively removing any overdue fees that current library patrons have.

According to Jackson District Library Director, Sara Tackett library officials have seen an uptick in people bringing back their books.

"Fines do not encourage the on-time return of materials, and contrary to what some may believe, fines don't make the library any significant amount of money either, accounting for less than .5 percent of our budget," Tackett said. "What fines do is prevent access for patrons who cannot afford to pay those fines. We wanted to remove as many barriers to access as possible, especially for our patrons who struggle financially."

People who use their services are still responsible for returning what they borrow. In place of fines, officials will be blocking a patron's account until they return the items.

"Interestingly, libraries that have eliminated overdue fines have found that return rates actually go up," Tackett said. "By removing the possibility of accumulating late fines, people are less likely to avoid returning to the library and more likely to bring back any overdue items they’ve checked out. No late fines mean more people are using the library more often."

Jackson District Library joins other libraries across the country that are going "fine-free." You are still responsible for replacement charges on lost and damaged material.

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