Dubuque library considers ending fines for late books

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The public library in Dubuque is considering ending fines for patrons who are late in returning books and other material.

KWWL-TV reports the Carnegie-Stout Public Library may end the penalty next year because even small fines can discourage borrowing, especially by children. Library director Susan Henricks says more than 1,700 children can’t use library services because of holds placed on their accounts when they owe more than $10.

Henricks says it also costs more to collect and process fines than the penalties bring in.

Some worry that ending the fines will hurt the collection, but Henricks says most people return material when they’re finished, regardless of a fine. Libraries elsewhere have successfully implemented such a policy.

If the Dubuque library makes a change, it will be on a trial basis.

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