The Richland County Public Library system is eliminating overdue fines on books, CDs, DVDs and other regular circulating materials that are part of its adult collection.
The library is also erasing the overdue fines of almost 70,000 customers and reinstating the library accounts of more than 23,000 customers that were blocked because of overdue fines, according to a news release.
The library said that while it encourages patrons to return or renew items on specified due dates, “we’re removing one of the barriers that may prevent members of the community from coming from our doors.”
“This policy change is focused on access and equity,” Richland Library chief program and innovation officer Tony Tallent said in the release. “By going fine-free, we hope to encourage prior customers to come back to the library and attract new customers to experience what we have to offer — without worrying about overdue fines.”
The policy change is effective today.
Richland Library, which eliminated overdue fines on children’s materials in 2015 and teen materials in 2016, joins Charleston County Public Library as the only two public libraries in the state that have eliminated overdue fines, according to the release.