All branches of the Abilene Public Library will stop fining for overdue items starting Oct. 1

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) –There’s a big change coming for those bookworms who may be a little forgetful.

According to city librarian Lori Grumet, other library systems started a new policy about five or six years ago that has shown to be effective. 

“We put as part of our budget package the elimination of overdue fines,” said Grumet said. “A lot of people don’t want to use books from the library if they’re getting fines charged to them.”

Affecting all three branches in Abilene, the library said the policy is most likely permanent.

“It cost us about as much to collect the fines as the fines we were collecting,” said Grumet. “So, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to continue on with that.”

And, statistically, the system has proven to work, according to Grumet. 

“There are some people who are afraid no one will bring their books back, but the data doesn’t bear that out,” Grumet said. “Most of the libraries that have done this have seen about an 11 percent increase in the use of their materials, and they actually haven’t seen any change in the amount of things that are kept overdue.”

Parents Elisa Jessup and Megan Thorup gave their thoughts on the new policy.

“I have regularly accrued fees, and it’ll be nice to not have them any more,” said Jessup. 
“The late fees kind of help them remember when they’re due and be responsible, but they also freak out like when they are late,” said Thorup. 

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