The Lewis and Clark Library have updated the way they handle fines for late books and are now “fine free.”
Staff say this means they will no longer charge fines for late fees on overdue items.
The library will still have charges if the item is lost or damaged, and ask overdue item be returned as soon as possible.
Account services will be suspected if the account has an item that is over 30 days overdue.
Public Information Officer Patricia Spencer says the move was made so they don’t financially burden those that depend on the library's services.
“Libraries are the great equalizer,” said Spencer. “They’re here for everybody and they should be accessible to all. We did find that some people were not coming into the Library because they thought they owed some money.”
Spencer said one concern they Library did have was how it would impact the amount of food they raise for Helena Food Share.
“We couldn’t do that event this year because we aren’t taking fines, but we did take in just as much food during the Turkey Challenge as we normal would with ‘Food for Fines,’” explained Spencer.
The Library also wants people to be aware that they have moved the exterior book drop off location to the walking mall side of the building while phase one on their remodel is underway.