Overdue fines eliminated at Bruce County Public Library branches

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As of June 1, Bruce County Public Library (BCPL) is joining more than 200 libraries across the country in going fine free.

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The move aims to “enhance equal access to the library’s extensive resources and services,” BCPL said in a news release. “By eliminating fines, BCPL is reconnecting with one of its core values to provide barrier-free access to information, resources, and programs for all community members.”

According to the release, fines have not been effective at encouraging the timely return of borrowed materials and libraries in Canada that have already implemented fine-free policies have reported positive outcomes, such as increased library usage and the return of long-overdue items.

“Bruce County Public Library is committed to creating a welcoming environment where everyone in our community has access to the resources they need. Going fine free removes significant barriers for many and reinforces our dedication to inclusivity and lifelong learning,” said Mark Goetz, library board chair.

As part of this new policy, all outstanding fines on accounts will be forgiven, allowing everyone to fully utilize the new initiative. 

Eliminating fines does not mean people do not have to return borrowed materials. Fees for lost, damaged or inter-library loans remain in place.

Consisting of 17 branches, including locations in Kincardine and Lucknow, as well as a Bookmobile, BCPL provides access to information, resources, and programs throughout Bruce County.

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