Oak Park Library Abolishing Fines, But There’s A Catch

(CBS) — Oak Park is breaking with a long tradition: In June, the village is expected to stop fining people for overdue library books.

WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

Collecting fines on overdue library books?

“The single biggest point of friction between staff and the public,” says Matt Baron, president of the Oak Park Public Library Board of Trustees.

He says families with children are put off by the fines, which can add up.

“Kids misplace these books. They’re under a couch. You’ve got a harried mom or dad or both. And for weeks or months, these materials are not to be found.”

So starting June 1, Oak Park patrons won’t have to pay the 25-cents-a-day fine on an overdue book.

They can keep a book for six weeks — and then they’ll have to bring it back or essentially buy it — before they can borrow anything else.

At least one other suburban library which has done away with fines says its books do stay out longer now — meaning they’re not available to other people.

“That’s certainly something to keep an eye on and for us to evaluate as time goes on,” Baron says.

 

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