An increasing number of libraries are dropping their late fees because the policies deter and bar low-income residents.
NPR reported Saturday that public libraries in San Diego, Boston and Chicago have changed their policies in some way to address what they’ve deemed social inequality in the public library system.
The San Diego Public Library in April cleared outstanding late fees, which affected more than 130,000 people.
Chicago’s libraries implemented a fine-free policy last month and have seen a 240 percent increase in returns.
The Boston Public Library this month stopped charging late fees to minors.
NPR reported that some libraries also have certain days when they forgive fines. In 2017, San Francisco’s public library recovered almost 700,000 items in six weeks during a forgiveness period.
According to the news outlet, the American Library Association passed a resolution in January calling fines a “form of social inequity” and calling for libraries to get rid of them.