Lewis County libraries dropping late fees

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The days of paying a late fee on a library book are gone in Lewis County.

It’s a place where people can get their hands on books, comics, and movies for free; the local library.

Now, people in Lewis county can check out their favorite book without worrying about a late fee.

“Emergencies happen,” said Eileen Mathys, director of the Croghan Free Library, “sometimes you don’t always get your books back on the due date and we don’t want people to feel pressured to get them back in time, unfinished or feel guilty bringing them back a little late.”

The libraries in Lewis County all agreed to drop those fees, hoping to create a hassle-free experience for library-goers.

Mathys said her library sees a lot of young people, “We like to have them here, and learn that books could be fun. And then they will come back asking for the funny books, the silly books. The books about cats or dogs or horses.”

North country library system officials say ditching the late feels will definitely improve a child’s library experience.

“Having the embarrassment of not being able to check out that book, or having an awkward interaction with a staff member because now they can check out a book and not have to worry about that, “ said Paulette Roes, the North Country Library System’s executive director.

She added that this advances their ”strong libraries, strong communities” campaign.

“Simplest and most orgranic way to promote access,” said Roes, “libraries are one of the last institutions where everybody is welcome to come.”

North Country Library System officials said they hope other counties follow the trend and adopt a no-fee policy as well.

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