Hennepin County Libraries Officially Wipe Out Overdue Fines
Hennepin County Library has reset all late fines to zero. The county officially wiped out overdue fines last week. That means even if you lost a book 10 years ago, it’s all settled.
Going fine-free is the latest effort to make the public library accessible to more people.
“The elimination of late fines from the Hennepin County Library system is a change that will reduce disparities and increase access to our collections,” said Commissioner Marion Greene, chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. “We know that fines and fees disproportionately affect low-income people and communities of color, and we are doing what we can to ensure that everyone is welcome to utilize our services regardless of their ability to pay.”
Johannah Genett, the division manager for Hennepin County Library said eliminating late fees doesn’t mean library materials are free to keep.
“We do have checks in place to make sure our patrons return library materials,” said Genett. “We still have due dates and expect patrons to bring library materials back that date. Once we get 41 days pass a due date, that’s when a fee could appear on your record.”
Overdue fines make up less than 1 percent of library funds.
In addition to its fine-free policy update, the county is providing a one-time fresh start to all residents.
Related: Golden Valley’s library recently reopened to the public. See that story here.