Galesburg Public Library eliminating fees

The Galesburg Public Library is doing away with late fees on items turned in past their due date.

That announcement came Thursday along with the news that any existing overdue bills have been wiped from all Galesburg Public Library patron accounts.

They add that the decision to go fine-free comes after several months of a trial run, with the library not having been charging late fees due to the pandemic.

This gave library users some extra understanding during an already uncertain time and encouraging patrons to stay home while stay-at-home orders were in place.

Library Director Noelle Thompson says that now is a great time to eliminate late fees and welcome back people to the library, quote, “Our community is beginning to open up, the Summer Reading Program is in full swing for all ages, and we look forward to seeing the faces that we’ve missed for the past year.”

Late fees, according to a release from the Library, represent an “incredibly” small portion of the library’s annual revenue and patrons have always been good about turning in their items on time and sharing the wealth of resources the library has to offer.

Kayla Kuffel, Head of the Circulation Department, is supportive of the change, saying quote, “We know late fees can stop some people from coming in to use the services they really need. Going fine free helps keep that access equitable.”

The library will continue setting due dates and sending overdue notices. And, patrons who damage or lost items will be charged for a replacement. Anyone with overdue items can return those items now and avoid any charges.