The Chicago Public Library system has recently gotten rid of its late fees.
The number of book returns has since increased 240%, a library official says. It’s a big piece of evidence countering a major argument used by those arguing against ditching overdue fines for library books.
“The amount of books returned has increased by 240%. A huge increase in the number of books coming back,” Library Commisioner Andrea Telli said while testifying at City Council budget hearings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “We’re very, very happy to have that. … Those books have a value and cost money to buy. We want those assets back. We also want the patron to come back.”
While Chicago is the largest major city in the US to reduce or entirely eliminate fines for overdue titles, it’s far from the only one, with late-fee-less library systems in other major cities including the Salt Lake City Public Library and, most recently, the Boston Public Library, which changed its late fee policy this past Friday.
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