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Boise Public Library drops overdue fines

The Boise Main Library in downtown. File photo

The Boise Public Library will no longer charge fines for overdue materials.

The change went into effect on Oct. 1. The Boise Public Library Board of Trustees approved the fine-free policy at their board meeting on April 11; it was later approved by Boise City Council during the FY20 budget process.

As of March 2019, 11,042 Boise Public Library cardholders were blocked from checking out materials because of outstanding late fines of over $10. Overdue fines were projected to account for $124,000 (less than 1%) of the FY19 budget. Eliminating fines is part of a national trend towards removing barriers and increasing access for library customers, particularly youth and low-income households.

“This is an exciting move for Boise Public Library,” said Sarah Kelley Chase, public services manager. “It strengthens our commitment to providing universal access to all community members, and we hope this change will encourage an increase in use for customers who need it most.”

Checked out materials will automatically renew up to five times, unless the item is on hold for another customer. The library will issue email reminders when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. Once an item is past its due date, additional items may not be checked out until the overdue item is returned.

Current overdue fines will remain on customer accounts and still need to be paid. Fees will still apply to lost or damaged items. Visit BoisePublicLibrary.org/ FineFree to learn more.

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