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The original item was published from 5/22/2019 11:55:21 AM to 6/6/2019 9:10:00 AM.

News Flash

Office of Communications

Posted on: May 22, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Maricopa County Gets Rid of Overdue Fines at its Public Libraries

no fines newsitem

PHOENIX, Ariz. – May 22, 2019 – Maricopa County is welcoming thousands of customers back to its public libraries. The Board of Supervisors has voted to eliminate overdue fines – and to waive existing overdue fines – at the County’s 18 public libraries. This measure, which goes into effect today, only applies to Maricopa County Library District libraries. While part of a growing national movement, Maricopa County is the first public library system in Arizona to take this step for all customers.

“Libraries are an important resource for children and adults to learn about and connect with their community and world,” said Bill Gates, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, District 3. “This is why we have decided to discontinue collecting daily overdue fines and to waive any existing fines that can build up and lead to blocked accounts for people who can least afford them, giving everyone a fresh start. We’re proud to be the first system in the state to remove this barrier between our residents and a vital community resource.”

“No one should be kept from libraries because of overdue fines,” said Cindy Kolaczynski, Director of the Maricopa County Library District. “Collecting fines isn’t a quick process. Our staff would much rather help customers explore and discover. Now is the perfect time to get or renew your library card and enjoy the library in person and online.”

Minimal Financial Impact

Maricopa County Library District receives about $300,000 from overdue fine payments each year, less than one percent of its budget. “That number has been dropping, and doesn’t account for the resources it takes to collect payments,” continued Kolaczynski. “Coupled with the rise in digital items, which auto-return on the due date, it just makes sense to eliminate overdue fines.”

Summer Reading Program Starts June 1

County officials also reminded the public to register at for the annual Summer Reading Program, which runs through June and July. “Everyone can earn great prizes, including a free book,” Kolaczynski added. “You don’t need a library card for the program, but it definitely improves the experience.”

Highlights of Today’s News

NEW: Overdue fines (the daily charge for items late by 30 days or less) have been eliminated

NEW: Current overdue fines are waived

SAME AS BEFORE: Customers pay for

o Lost items (late for 31+ days)
o Damaged items
o Processing ad collections fees
o Accounts currently blocked for these reasons must be paid down to regain access

• Only applies at 18 libraries run by Maricopa County

• More at

The Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) is a special taxing district that runs 18 libraries countywide. MCLD inspires curiosity, encourages discovery and exploration of new worlds, and helps residents reconnect with their community. In 2018, MCLD customers checked out nearly 10 million items. Each year, MCLD holds more than 6,500 events for all ages and runs the annual Summer Reading Program for more than 75,000 children and adults. Maricopa County and Queen Creek residents and property owners get an MCLD library card at no cost.

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