Good news: Seattle Public Library has given up on late fees

Photo via @melwillis Instagram

You know what they say- having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card. And now, the Seattle Public Library has joined Chicago, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Boston libraries in getting rid of late fees and making things even more fun!

If you’re thinking you can have a free for all with taking your sweet time on your favorite titles, you’re wrong. Despite the switch, Seattle will continue to work with a collection agency to push patrons toward returning books or replacing them when a book, video or other library material is damaged or lost.

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If you’re wondering why the heck the city would get rid of late fees, it’s a good question. The library sees the change as an equity issue. The branches with the highest number of accounts suspended for owing late fees are also in areas that serve low-income communities and communities of color. Further, data suggests there’s a negligible correlation between fines and return rates.

We’re hoping this change means the love of books can be spread to more people and that those people with suspended accounts can get back to one of the oldest and best pastimes.

Stay well-read Seattle!

Seattle Public Library

Where: Branches all over the city
Hours: Vary per location

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