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Saskatoon Public Library waives nearly $1 million in overdue fees

Star Phoenix logo Star Phoenix 2015-11-03 Andrea Hill
Library Request © Greg Pender Library Request

That book you borrowed from the library and forgot about ... in 2007? Don't worry about the late fine.

Almost $1 million in unpaid library fees has been scrubbed from the books. The Saskatoon Public Library announced Tuesday that it has pardoned all outstanding fines in an effort to attract more people to the library.

“We hope the campaign brings back a lot of people who maybe were feeling a little awkward about having fines and not being able to pay,” said director Carol Cooley. “We’re trying to make the library and its resources available to the more vulnerable sectors of our community — people who really, if they don’t have the library, they don’t have access to books and materials and computers.”

She estimates the library is owed more than $100,000 in late fines from 2015 and about $1 million over its lifetime.

The largest fines would be in the ballpark of $10 since people are not allowed to borrow materials if they owe the library $10 or more.

Some people who owe money no longer live in the city or province.

“It’s not money we ever expected to collect,” Cooley said.

The library believes the annual volume of outstanding fees will decrease next year because of a new telephone notification system that reminds patrons to return borrowed material on time.

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