Wake County library system does away with late fees

January 5, 2020 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One of North Carolina’s most populous counties is doing away with late fees at its library system.

The News & Observer reported over the weekend that Wake County Public Libraries wiped out late fees as of Jan. 2 for nearly 300,000 people and won’t issue any more in the future.

Ann Burlingame is assistant director of the library system that has nearly two dozen branches. She said the system is trying to get resources into the hands of people who need them the most and saw waiving fees as one way of doing that.

“We are trying to say we are removing barriers but it doesn’t mean removing responsibilities,” Burlingame told the newspaper. “We have an expectation that you bring those books back.

Under the new system, people will still be fined for losing a book and never returning it.

The check-out period for books will be expanded from two weeks to three. After nine weeks, a book is considered “long overdue,” and a person can’t check out more books if three or more items are in “long overdue” status.