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Allegany County Libraries to Discontinue Late Fees for Patrons 17 and Under

July 13th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Library users ages 17 and under will no longer be charged late fines on overdue items. The mission of the library system is to provide information and services to enrich the lives of the people in Allegany County. Fines, especially for children, are a barrier to accessing information. An analysis by the Maryland State Library Resource Center and other libraries shows that charging fines to library patrons affects lower-income users disproportionately and punishes children who might have limited control over returning books on time and limited means to repay those fines.
Removing this barrier is possible thanks to legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year, the Building Lifelong Library Learners Act. The new law provides libraries funding in order to maintain current budget levels without incurring a loss of income from not collecting overdue fines from minors’ accounts. In addition to not charging overdue fines to minors, existing account balances for patrons 17 and under have been reset to $0. In the Allegany County Library System, there were 15,216 patrons 17 and under with fines totaling $68,426.75. Of those, 56 percent have not used their library card in the past four years. We look forward to welcoming these young patrons back and restoring access to all the valuable library services and collections!
Please visit or call 301-777-1200 for more information about library service