Indiana county largely eliminates fines for overdue items

A northern Indiana county's libraries have become the latest in the state to move away from fining patrons for overdue items.

Posted: Jul 8, 2019 9:58 AM

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana county's libraries have become the latest in the state to move away from fining patrons for overdue items.

The Porter County Library system's new policy has granted amnesty for old overdue items and virtually eliminated fines.

Library Director Jesse Butz tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times the library board determined that "fines just keep people from coming" into library branches.

The county's branches previously charged a 5-cents-per-day fee for books and $1-per-day fee for DVDs. Those who couldn't pay couldn't check out materials.

But under the new policy, patrons can borrow a book for two weeks and the system auto-renews for an extra two weeks up to three times.

After those auto-renews are up, patrons have a 14-day grace period before they're billed to replace the item.

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