Okanagan Regional Library drops late fees on books

No more late fees at library

The Okanagan Regional Library has put an end to late fees.

ORL says they started dropping late fees back at the outbreak of the pandemic.

Okanagan Regional Library CEO Danielle Hubbard said the board then formally approved the policy this month.

"From 2020 to 2023, we have had enough time to assess how our collection and borrowing are performing, and we really haven't seen any downturn in people returning books," said Hubbard.

Hubbard says the majority of libraries across B.C. have gone late-fine free.

"We thought at this point there was a lot of data to support that this was going to work," she said.

Library users are happy with the change.

"We have had a huge response. On Saturday, we sent out an automated message to all of our current cardholders, letting people know that we were officially a late fine-free library, and I have been blown away by how many people went out of their way to email back to us. I would say about 80 to 85 percent have been really positive," Hubbard said.

Book borrowers are still responsible for damaged or lost books.

"We don't charge people late fees, but if a book becomes 30 or more days overdue, then it is deemed lost. At that point, the borrower is billed for the cost of that book. If they bring the book back, they don't need to pay for it, but if they never do bring the book back, then it sits on their account, and they can't borrow more books until they return their lost book," Hubbard added.

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