Ypsilanti District Library eliminates late fines, removes existing overdue balances

The Ypsilanti District Library has eliminated late fees.

Materials checked out from the branches of the library will no longer incur daily late fees, and existing balances have been removed. 

"It’s important to be welcoming to all," said Library Director Lisa Hoenig. "We’re happy to eliminate a barrier that has kept parts of our community from using the library."

Now, if materials are more than 28 days overdue, the library will assume they are lost. Books that are actually lost will need to paid for by the person who checked it out. Otherwise, the late book can be returned with no penalty.

"Our hope is that eliminating late fees will inspire people to return materials, even when they’re late, rather than having them go into lost status," Hoenig said. "And the research we’ve seen supports that."

Existing lost book fees still must be paid, and damaged materials must be paid for.

"This change will hopefully make YDL a more deeply accessible part of the community — one that can lift up and support its members without the fear of punitive fees," said YDL Assistant Director Julianne Smith.