Goodbye 2019 and fines: Kalamazoo library drops late fees

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo Public Library is helping some of its patrons start off the new year with a little less debt.

Starting Jan. 1, the library is officially going fine-free with all of its materials. All fines were waived on Dec. 31.

Children’s materials at the library have been fine-free since 1989.

Patrons are still responsible for paying for lost or damaged material fees and referral charges. Any items overdue by 30 days will be considered lost or damaged and a bill will be sent out.

Kalamazoo Public Library announced the shift in November. The library will celebrate the new fine-free policy with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the library Thursday at 9 a.m.

Many libraries have stopped late fees. In June, Kent District Library stopped charging late fines and forgave outstanding fees.

In April, Grand Rapids Public Library nixed its fines on overdue children and teen material. Debts were also forgiven for the 5,175 patrons whose accounts were blocked due to overdue fines on such books, magazines and movies.

GRPL says its fine-free policy also does not apply to lost or damaged materials.