Huron County, Ontario – The Huron County Library is very pleased to announce that starting Jan. 1, 2022, the library will no longer charge fines on overdue materials.
While the collection of overdue fines has been temporarily halted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huron County Library Board voted unanimously to permanently end this practice, further removing barriers for Huron County residents accessing library services.
During the pandemic, existing inequities in Huron became even more evident. Through these challenging times, access to library resources have increasingly become a priority as a way to engage and support the physical and mental well-being in local communities. The Huron County Library values inclusive and equitable access to information for all, and eliminating fines will help close to 1,000 patrons regain access to Library services.
“There is growing evidence from libraries across the country and beyond that the revenue generated from collecting overdue fines is not worth the barrier it creates to accessing library resources,” said Director of Cultural Services and County Librarian, Beth Rumble. Evidence from other library systems has also shown little difference when items are returned after removing overdue fines. “Library users want to continue to use the library and we look forward to welcoming back our patrons to our branches.”
“Huron County’s libraries play an important role in supporting education and literacy in our communities,” said Huron County Library Board Chair, Jim Dietrich, highlighting the importance of equal access to the library and its services regardless of one’s financial situation. “Going fine-free will support those in our communities who need it the most.”
All outstanding overdue fines will be forgiven effective Jan. 1, 2022. Fees will, however, continue to be charged for lost or damaged materials.
For those ready to reintroduce themselves to the library, visit any one of the12 branches located throughout the County or visit the Library online www.HuronCounty.ca/library.
The County of Huron asks the community to continue respecting all public health guidelines, including performing hand hygiene, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home if ill. Stay informed on the COVID-19 situation in Huron County by visiting the Huron-Perth Public Health website.