New York Public Library’s cancelation of late fees will help New Yorkers


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Barbara Chang

New York Public Library President Anthony Marx announced that all branches will no longer charge fees on items that are overdue and will excuse cardholders’ previous fines. This piece of news came as a shock, but the change will bring more convenience and alleviate cost worries.

The New York Public Library system was established in 1895, watching over New Yorkers like an elderly grandparent for several decades. The institution has supported New Yorkers through charitable programs that assist children and the homeless.

“For those who can’t afford the fines — disproportionately low-income New Yorkers — they become a real barrier to access that we can no longer accept. This is a step towards a more equitable society, with more New Yorkers reading and using libraries, and we are proud to make it happen,” Marx said in the announcement.

Although members may not save a lot of money from this new change of pace, it is a good indication that the government and the library are making an toward shaping New York into a better place to live.

“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,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said, as reported in the library’s press release.

Residents of New York will not have to worry about overdue fines  when they access the broad selections of books at the public libraries for educational and leisure purposes. New Yorkers will enhance their careers and seek better jobs because residents will be more motivated to learn.

Smaller libraries in other regions of the United States shouldn’t follow the library’s move to eliminate late fees because they might not have the backup budget to cover any potential mishaps or damages that might occur from this adjustment. They don’t have as many sponsors as The New York Public Library system.

Still, it would’ve been even better if this happened sooner when the libraries first reopened as COVID-19 cases began decreasing. Many people were worried about  staying safe and having financial security, so not having to worry about late fees would have made it easier to reconnect with books

But now the library’s decision to turn the page on late fees means more to read for New Yorkers.