MAPLEWOOD, NJ — As a great start to a new decade, beginning today, January 2, 2020, Maplewood Library will be fine free. New fines will not be charged, and existing fines will be waived on Maplewood items. This Fine Free initiative, already in effect for children’s and young adult items, will now include most adult materials; books, audiobooks, movies, magazines and music. (Fines will still be applied to Museum Passes and Internet Hot Spots.)

”Fines heavily affect low-income families, creating barriers for the patrons who most need access to the library resources,” said Maplewood Library Director Sarah Lester. “This is a meaningful transition for our library and our community. We look forward to welcoming back patrons for whom fines have been a barrier.”

Libraries across the country including Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Denver, and Salt Lake City have found that fines actually prevent patrons from returning materials, and that eliminating fines ensures free and equal access to the materials community members want to borrow.

Borrowers will still be responsible for replacement costs on lost, damaged or unreturned items. Additionally, since every library has its own lending terms, fines may still accrue on materials belonging to other libraries in our consortium, and those borrowed through ReBL or interlibrary loan.