Area libraries to forego charging late return fees

Area libraries will soon no longer assess fines for late returns of books and other materials. As of February 1st, no fines will be charged at the Lewiston city and school district libraries, Clarkston School District libraries, Asotin County and Asotin school libraries, Clearwater Memorial Public Library, Lapwai School Libraries, Orofino School District Libraries, and the Prairie River District Libraries. The announcement follows a national trend of libraries forgoing charges in an effort to remove barriers that in any way prevent patrons, especially children, and low-income residents, from accessing library materials. Many libraries across the country have adopted fine free policies and as a result, have seen an up-tic in returned materials and more patrons registering for library cards. However, if an item is kept past its due date, a person’s library account will be temporarily blocked, preventing checking out more materials or use some of the digital services until the late items are returned. If materials are not returned two months after the due date, patrons will be charged for the cost to replace it. All charges will be cleared from a patron’s account when the materials are returned. (Lewiston High School Library) Photo by Paul Schafer on Unsplash