SPRINGFIELD — Patrons of all Springfield City Library branches will no longer be penalized if they don’t return books and other materials on time.
The Springfield Library Commission voted unanimously in 2019 to remove all late fees on library items, but held off on making an announcement on the change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Springfield City Library employees and Mayor Domenic Sarno called a press conference at the Brightwood branch, 359 Plainfield St., to announce the news Thursday.
“In the last fiscal year, we collected about $7,000 in our fines and fees account and only about $700 of that was for late fines. The rest of it (was for) replacement costs,” said Jean M. Canosa Albano, assistant director for public services. “For anyone concerned that we’re just letting everything go, no, you still have to bring back the materials you returned, but if you’re late, it’s OK.”
Canosa Albano went on to say that after a set period of time, the patron will receive a message in their mail and other alerts to remind them they are in possession of an overdue item, but will still not be charged for it, as long as the item is returned in good condition.