If you borrow books from public libraries and find that you are overdue, you are not without money, but do not necessarily want to face such a fine, so the books are put on hold in hand has not been returned, and the library must buy new books to make up for these overdue books. In addition, for some low-income groups, late fines are a burden. The American Library Association passed a resolution in January calling fines a form of social inequality and calling on libraries to find ways to eliminate them.
A growing number of public libraries are realizing that late fines can cost them customers who want to use libraries and make decisions to waive fines. The San Diego Public Library has just erased 130,000 overdue fines from its system.
The elimination of fines had an unexpected effect, with many clients returning to the library with overdue books. The Chicago Library’s return rate increased 240 percent in the three weeks of its no-penalty policy, and the number of book card renewals increased by more than 400 compared to the same period last year.