City scrapping overdue fines for all Toronto Public Library users
Published Thursday, March 31, 2022 9:04AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 31, 2022 9:04AM EDT
The City of Toronto is now officially eliminating all overdue fines at public libraries in an effort to "remove a significant barrier" to those who want to access the library system.
Speaking at a news conference at the public library at city hall on Thursday morning, Mayor John Tory said that late fines will now be eliminated for all library users.
The policy builds off of one implemented last year that eliminated late fees for children.
"Late fines can be a significant expense for those from low-income areas. When customers have fines, it has been proven that they are less likely to use the library system and to take advantage of all the supports and the services and the materials that those offer," Tory told reporters on Thursday.
"We know that overdue fines have a disproportionate impact on racialized and lower income communities in Toronto who have been blocked from library use at a higher rate than others because of the financial hardship and the barrier that is imposed by the existence of late fines."
The move was previously approved by city council and $500,000 has been set aside in the 2022 operating budget for the removal of overdue fines for teens and adults in addition to children.