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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

The Whittaker branch of the Ypsilanti District Library at dusk.

Ypsilanti District Library eliminates late fees starting June 1

The Ypsilanti District Library has decided to do away with late return charges of library material.

The Ypsilanti District Library has decided to eliminate late fees as of June 1. The change is one way to help the library continue to be a welcoming public space.

Approximately 44 percent of libraries across Michigan have already gotten rid of their late fees. Sam Killian, the Community Relations Director at the Ypsilanti District Library, believes this change can actually help the library, since people will now bring in books that the library had once considered lost material.

“We certainly hope that we'll see more people coming and learning about how the library can help without the fear of punitive fines,” Killian said.

A successful trial run of eliminating late fees was completed during the COVID-19 closure when the library could not stay open.

“We had a woman who hadn't paid off some existing overdue fines because she had to leave her home in an emergency situation and had resigned herself to not using her card anymore,“ Killian said. “When we cleared the fines for her, she cried."

Budget impacts were looked at closely when deciding to eliminate late fees. Ypsilanti District Library has found that the late fees actually make up only a small percentage of the budget, mainly because a large amount of the fines go uncollected. Based on this fact, this shouldn’t impact any programs or services that Ypsilanti District Library offers.

People with existing fines on their accounts are encouraged to visit the library to get them removed from their library cards. This also includes older charges for lost or damaged materials.

For more information about the Ypsilanti District Library please visit their website.