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Bristol Public Library Goes Fines Free as of July 1

June 25, 2021

The Bristol Public Library is dropping overdue fines as of July 1.

“Overdue fines create barriers to service and often stop people from using the library.By eliminating overdue fines, we hope to share our collection and services with evenmore of our community members”, says Tonia Kestner, Director of the Bristol PublicLibrary. “Overdue fines account for less than one percent of our budget, so this changewill not impact the services we are able to provide.”

As of July 1, materials borrowed from either branch of the Bristol Public Library may berenewed twice beyond the original due date with no overdue fee. If a patron does not renew the materials themselves, the library system will automatically renew the item(s) for them. If the materials are not returned 14 days after the final renewal, the borrower will be sent a bill for the cost of the items, plus a processing fee. Books on hold by other patrons cannot be renewed, and must be returned by the initial due date or the borrower will be billed.

The Circulation team at the Library is working to remove all old fines from borrower accounts. Balances for lost or stolen items will remain on the account. Interlibrary loan late fees still apply.

“We are excited to be able to lower this barrier to access at the library”, says Garry Wakely, Program and Marketing Coordinator. “Overdue fines disproportionately affect poor and working-class families, particularly the children. Eliminating overdue fines helps ensure that our services are available to all.”

The updated Circulation Policy is available to view on the Bristol Public Library website at: https://tinyurl.com/BPLFinesFree