Not A Hoax – Fines Are Disappearing At Buffalo Libraries
If you are one of those people who tends to stay away from the library because you've already racked up quite the list of fines, there's good news!
When I was a kid, I remember being haunted by the library book that I thought I lost. I eventually found it but by the time I did, it had been overdue by so long that I was convinced I would either owe more than my third-grade bank account could afford or that I would go to jail for stealing from the library.
I never wanted to borrow a book from the library again..
If so, the good news is that you won't have to worry about that anymore (as long as you eventually find the book). They're doing away with fines for overdue materials for good.
According to The Buffalo News, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will be making the announcement on Thursday (4/7) during his State of the County address.
"There's anecdotal evidence, as well as some scientific evidence that the fines don't really do a good job of getting people to bring books back on time, but they do keep people from patronizing the libraries. So, working with the library system, we're announcing we're getting rid of the fine system for everyone." - Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive
Doesn't that mean that people will start taking from the library and not returning things? Not according to results that they've seen across the country. The New York City libraries did away with fines and the result was a wave of returned items and a bump up in library usage from patrons, according to The New York Times.
Now, back to the "lost book" situation...there will still be a fine for lost or damaged items. But the fines for materials that are overdue will be disappearing.
The resolution isn't set in stone yet. They will need to vote on it on April 21st.