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Marin County Free Library To Eliminate Late Fees

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – Late fines at the Marin County Free Library will expire on July 1.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the library's plan to eliminate late fines on borrowed materials.

Library officials said the elimination of fines will provide equitable access to books and other materials, especially for low- and fixed-income patrons and their families.

Library officials said the fines drove people away from using the libraries, and that research shows fines do not provide incentive to return materials on time.

"Libraries that have eliminated late fines report that this customer-focused policy change has resulted in higher library use, increased customer satisfaction and additional opportunities for positive interactions with the community," Director of Library Services Sara Jones said in a report to the Board of Supervisors.

It cost one-half of 1 percent of the Marin County Free Library's revenue to process late fines, library officials said.

Supervisor Katie Rice said the act of paying the late fines had a shame aspect attached.

Library systems around the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties, have also eliminated late fines on borrowed materials.

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