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Indiana library becomes latest to end overdue book fees

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A southern Indiana library has become one of the latest in the state to stop charging late fees for overdue books.

The New Albany-Floyd County Public Library ended its late fees after first trying amnesty periods where book borrowers could have their fines waived by returning overdue materials.

But after studying late fees the library in the Ohio River city of New Albany switched to a fine-free system on March 1.

Library Director Melissa Merida tells the News and Tribune that studies have shown that instead of deterring people from keeping overdue books, fines keep patrons from returning them because of a lack of money or willingness to pay.

The library still prevents patrons from checking out more books if they have an item that’s several weeks overdue.