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Kitchener Public Library going fine-free, forever!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:00am

KITCHENER, Ont — In a move to provide more equitable and accessible service, Kitchener Public Library will be permanently removing overdue fines.

Joining over 100 major libraries across North America who have transitioned to a fine-free service model, this reconfirms our commitment to providing accessible service to all members of our community.

While overdue fines were originally introduced as a motivator for customers to return materials in a timely manner, studies have found they have the unintended consequence of disproportionately impacting lower-income, marginalized and minority populations.

"Public libraries play a pivotal role in supporting education and literacy. It’s important that everyone has access to the same information, resources and support that we have to offer, regardless of their financial situation. Going fine-free will support those in our community who need it most. I am so excited to welcome them back to their library." — Stephanie Soulis, Board Chair, Kitchener Public Library.

Additional details:

  • Customers are still responsible for the library materials they borrow. Most items can be renewed twice, if they don’t have holds.

  • Library materials still need to be returned. We will continue to send reminders and reach out to customers when items are past due. Long overdue items will be billed.

  • We do not expect wait times to increase significantly for holds with this change. Many libraries that have gone fine-free have seen quicker returns of overdue materials. We will continue to monitor our holds list and ensure customers receive materials in a timely manner.

For additional details, please visit:

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For additional information about this release, please contact:

Shirley Luu
Manager, Digital Marketing
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen St. North, Kitchener, ON, N2H 2H1
Phone: 519.743.0271 x227