GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s common for libraries to forgive fines on overdue books because people can’t return books to libraries that are closed due to the pandemic.
The Grand Rapids Public Library is eliminating fines altogether.
“Fines disproportionately affect those in the community that could use the library the most,” said GRPL Director John McNaughton in a release.
GRPL doesn’t need fines to make ends meet: fines amount to less than one percent of the library’s budget.
Meanwhile, many people are locked out of using the library because they owe more than $10 in fines. That means nearly 12,000 account holders can’t use the Grand Rapids Public Library. If fines have been keeping you away--welcome back,” says McNaughton.
Now is great time to return books to get them back into circulation. Outside book drops can be used now, and GRPL To Go—a curbside pickup program—begins June 29. The reopening phase after that, where libraries are open, has not been scheduled.