New York Public Library Eliminates All Late Fees In Order to Promote "Equity"

Oct 13th

Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card.

But honestly, the card is superfluous now, since the NYC Public Library will no longer be giving out fines for overdue books.

That's right, as of October 5th, all fines are canceled, past, present, and future. So if you have a book you keep forgetting to return, don't sweat it!

The library will NOT track you down and harass you for that $0.30 per day fine that maxes out at $7. Ok, that's my library - with the cost of things in NY it could have been $30 per day, who's to say 🤷

The President of the library system, Tony Marx (probably no relation to Karl), said of the new policy,

As New York grapples with the inequities laid bare by the pandemic, it is all the more urgent that we ensure the public library is open and freely available to all.

Which, if I'm not mistaken, that was kind of the point of libraries, to begin with - books that are freely available to all.

Glad the NY Library President is on board with that. Karl would be proud.

Let be real though, don't we all have a random Amelia Bedelia book that's mysteriously on our bookshelf anyways? Just me? Some people call that theft. Or charity. But New York calls it indefinite lending, which is totally cool until you run out of books to lend.

The New York Library does still charge a replacement fee for lost or damaged materials... which is actually more than a late fee would be, but hey, equity is a very complicated goal and you really weren't supposed to read past the headline of the new policy.

According to the super equitable policy,

Items are declared lost after they have been overdue for 30 days and a replacement fee will be charged to the patron account.

So to summarize the fancy new system:

  • The books are not actually due until 30 days after they are due.
  • There will be no fines, but you will have to buy a replacement if you don't return the book on time (+30 days).
  • The library is now freely accessible to all. Just like it always was. But with heftier fines.

Isn't equity great?


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