Oct 5, 2019

Some libraries eliminate overdue fees to hold on to borrowers

Chicago public library podium

Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ProjectArt

Chicago became the largest U.S. city to drop fees for overdue books at its public libraries, joining 150 other library systems in the U.S. and Canada, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Libraries are struggling to maintain borrowers in the digital era, and some of the aversion is associated with people's negative feelings about returning overdue books, per the Wall Street Journal. In fact, libraries in St. Paul, Minn. saw circulation go up 2% after getting rid of overdue fees, according to the WSJ. Dallas, Tex., and Oakland, Calif., are among other communities that have jumped on to the late-fee amnesty movement.

Go deeper: Public libraries help students fend off summer learning loss

Go deeper