National trend of freeing up access to library resources

Folsom, Calif.- Effective immediately, the Folsom Public Library has eliminated all late fees for overdue materials. The decision, approved by the Folsom City Council at its July meeting, aims to enhance access and remove barriers for library patrons.

Under this new initiative, library patrons will no longer incur fines for overdue materials, and existing overdue fines will be cleared from accounts. However, charges for lost or damaged items will continue to be enforced, ensuring responsible use of library resources. The library encourages timely returns; overdue items will be marked as lost after 21 days. Library patrons with outstanding items may face restricted access if their account balance reaches $5.

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Barrier to services

This decision was motivated by the desire to eliminate financial obstacles that had previously prevented many Folsom residents from accessing valuable library resources. Although overdue fines only constituted a small portion of the library’s budget (approximately 1%), the penalties often created barriers to library services.

Growing trend

The City of Folsom adopted a widely acknowledged best practice followed by libraries across the U.S., including Sacramento County. Libraries observed that removing fines does not harm the overall return rates; instead, it increases the number of returned overdue items.

The Folsom Public Library is committed to providing free access, promoting literacy, and enriching lives in the community. Library staff is currently in the process of removing existing fines. If patrons see an incorrect charge on an account, contact us at [email protected] or 916-461-6130.

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