Galesburg Public Library wiping out fees to give patrons fresh start

The Galesburg Public Library will be wiping out late fees on returned items to give patrons a chance to start the new year with a fresh slate.

Library patrons currently holding on to overdue items can return them by the end of the year to have their overdue fees removed.
Circulation Supervisor Kayla Kuffel says that fewer library items will accrue late fees going forward.

She says that only new items and wi-fi hotspots will be fined for being late, although lost and damage fees will still apply as before.

Initially, the Library’s board and staff considered having a food drive where fines would be forgiven for those that donated canned goods.

Library Director Noelle Thompson says that they hope to bring in some new and old patrons by forgiving the fines.

“We’ll forgive everything for Black Friday. Wipe ’em clean. Get everyone ready for the holidays and that way when we start the new year, hopefully, we can bring new patrons in, bring in people we haven’t seen for a while,” Thompson tells WGIL. “Some people feel uncomfortable coming back to the library because they have a late fee.”

Thompson says that they’re also hoping to get some books back on the shelf.

Those with long-overdue materials can still return them by the end of the year to avoid any fees.

“We all are all busy. Life happens. We know that. Or, maybe you just didn’t finish the book in time and maybe you wanted to keep it a few extra days. We do have a grace period with our due dates. We also cap our late fees so it’s not like you’ll accrue fines forever. But, we do just want to get everybody started off with a clean slate. So that’s what we’re hoping to accomplish.”

To see a list of needed items visit

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