PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County Library will permanently stop charging late fines on all library materials, they announced on Wednesday.
They will also be clearing all existing debts and unblocking accounts. There are currently 72,861 accounts in debt, totaling $730,185. More than 2,000 people had their accounts blocked due to fines in excess of $50.
There are still due dates on checked out items, which will be automatically renewed if there are no holds. If items aren’t returned after 49 days, a replacement cost will be charged.
The library collected about $548,755 in overdue fines in 2019, down from nearly $1 million in 2016. They said fines have decreased as e-books have gone up in popularity.
The decision was made in order to create positive change and to make access more equitable.