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New York Public Library. Photo: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The New York Public Library (NYPL) system announced Tuesday that it will no longer charge late fines on overdue books and other materials to ensure "access to knowledge and opportunity."

Why it matters: The announcement comes after other prominent libraries, such as the Boston Public Library system and the Burbank Public Library system in California, implemented similar policies to eliminate financial barriers among low-income communities.

  • Under the previous model, NYPL cardholders would have their cards blocked if they amassed more than $15 in late fees, per the official release.
  • All library cardholders in the NYPL system have had their prior late fees or fines cleared from their accounts.

What they're saying: "Research shows that fines are not effective in ensuring book returns," NYPL president Tony Marx said in a statement.

  • "[U]nfortunately, fines are quite effective at preventing our most vulnerable communities from using our branches, services, and books," he added.
  • "This announcement is another major step towards making our public libraries, the heart of so many communities, accessible to all," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release Tuesday.
  • "Eliminating fines will let us serve even more New Yorkers, allowing them to enjoy all of the resources and programs that public libraries offer to grow and succeed."

Go deeper

Hilltop Branch library makeover complete

The new Hilltop branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library at 511 S. Hague St. Photo: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

The new Hilltop branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library was abuzz with activity yesterday, just a few days removed from its grand opening at 511 S. Hague St.

  • The library is now much larger and features an interactive children's area, a School Help Center for students and copious meeting spaces for adults.

Why it matters: Hilltop is the 12th Columbus Metropolitan Library branch to get a makeover since 2014, with more renovation projects on the way.

👋 Tyler here. I'm too far behind on my reading list as it is, so instead I checked out a couple of DVDs:

  • "Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges & Universities."
  • "Mamma Mia!" for two reasons: It stars Meryl Streep and I don't need another reason.
Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

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