Alameda County may eliminate overdue library book fees

A tower of used books

The Alameda County Librarian is asking the Board of Supervisors to write off late fees for more than 78,000 library card-carrying county residents. The total amount of uncollected fees is $2.3 million.

The county library system EBC AGENDA slatereceives about $450,000 in revenue from the fees. Tuesday’s proposal would forgive all fees through the end of the current fiscal year, ending June 30.

But in a memo to county staff, Alameda County Librarian Cynthia Chadwick goes further, asking the Board of Supervisors to consider eliminating late fees altogether.

The proposal comes from a recommendation by the American Library Association that the fees do more harm than good and dissuade people from using the library.

Another study shows removing late fees does not encourage any uptick in unreturned library materials, but they do hinder access to the library for low-income residents.


ALAMEDA COUNTY
>> Regular board meeting, Tuesday, May 7, 10:30 a.m.
READ ENTIRE AGENDA HERE
>> Next meeting: May 21.


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