Cuyahoga County Public Library is Going Fine Free

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Cuyahoga County Public Library is Going Fine Free
Courtesy Cuyahoga County Public Library

At its Tuesday meeting, the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees voted to approve a new “fine free” policy that will eliminate daily overdue fines for borrowers.

The move follows the Cleveland Public Library, which waived overdue fines in 2019, and other library systems that have recognized how fines discouraged library use.

The CCPL board also voted to approve a one-time waiver of all current cardholder fines and fees, effectively zeroing out the balances of those with existing overdue fines.

“Library fines disproportionately affect our most vulnerable customers,” said CCPL executive director Tracy Strobel, in a press release. “Going fine free will help remove financial barriers that prevent some customers from accessing the Library’s important information resources.”

As in Cleveland's case, borrowers will still be on the hook for lost items and will be charged a replacement fee if material is not returned. (An item is considered lost if it's more than 30 days overdue, but replacement fees are waived if the item is returned.)

The decision coincides with CCPL's 100th anniversary celebration in 2022. The waiver of all existing fines is the library's attempt, it says, to give borrowers a "fresh start." 

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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