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Yukon libraries drop late fees

Plan aimed to make library accessible and save on administration costs
Whitehorse Public Library as seen on July 13. (Yukon News Files)

Yukon Public Libraries are dropping late fees and the associated outstanding balances.

The branch of the territorial government responsible for the libraries says the move is to ensure users feel comfortable accessing library resources while also saving on administration costs.

Billed as a celebration of libraries month in a Sept. 19 notice from the territorial government, the move to end late fees is now in effect. However, a charge will still be issued after 28 days to replace lost or damaged library materials. The charge will be refunded if the library item is returned in good condition. The measure is in effect for all 15 of the Yukon’s public libraries.

“Yukon Public Libraries recognizes the strong relationship patrons have with libraries. It is important patrons still return materials on time so libraries have materials for everyone to enjoy,” the notice reads.

The notice about the end of late fees states that Yukon libraries are following a trend across North America of libraries removing barriers to encourage the use of the libraries’ services.

It is noted in the announcement that the elimination of overdue fines allows library staff more time for other tasks. It is also seen as cost-effective as administration costs related to the collection of overdue book fines are greater than the value of the fines themselves.

“Libraries play a pivotal role in Yukon communities. Everyone should feel welcome in their public library, and by eliminating late fees, our government is reducing the barriers for accessing vital resources and library services,” Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn is quoted as saying in the announcement.

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Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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