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Lincoln City Libraries will no longer assess fines for overdue books

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Breaking news from the Lincoln City Libraries: Beginning Sept. 1, it will stop charging overdue fees on all library materials.

The reason: Research shows overdue fines create a barrier to equitable access and dissuade lower income families from using the library, and they are not an effective tool in the return of library materials, said Assistant Library Director Traci Glass.

“It is the mission of Lincoln City Libraries to foster the power of reading and provide open access to all forms of information to enrich lives every day,” Glass said. “This policy will enhance our ability to provide important access to all Lincoln residents.”

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The city libraries also will forgive overdue fine debts, but not lost/damaged item debts. Items not returned 21 days after the due date are considered lost.

Glass said that overdue fines represent only 1%, or about $99,550, of the library system’s budget. The elimination of overdue fines was recently approved by the City Council as part of the 2022-2024 city budget.

Lincoln City Libraries eliminated overdue fines for youth materials in 2019. For more information on LCL, visit lincolnlibraries.org.

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Local government reporter

Margaret Reist is a recovering education reporter now writing about local and county government and the people who live in the city where she was born and raised.

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