— Following a national trend to make libraries more accessible to users, beginning September 2019, the Idaho Falls Public Library will no longer charge overdue fines.
All past overdue fines will be forgiven and patrons who have not been able to borrow items from the library are encouraged to return to the library and renew their cards.
“The intent of this change is to encourage everyone in the community to use the library. We don’t want additional fees to become a reason for people not using the library,” said Library Director Robert Wright. “Rather than worrying about an overdue book or late fee, we just want them to enjoy and use the beautiful library that the community has established.”
With the elimination of fines, patrons that have overdue items will be required to return or renew those items prior to checking out additional items. Library staff are hopeful that the effort to eliminate fines will spur additional use of the library, especially for children.
“Without having fines to bar access to materials, we anticipate seeing more children using the library and getting the books they need for school or pleasure reading,” said Beth Swenson, Children’s Library Supervisor. “Children who read more do better in school and have a higher chance of becoming life-long readers.”