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Huntsville-Madison County Public Library going fine free

HMCPL is the first large library system in Alabama to go fine free.
HMCPL is the first large library system in Alabama to go fine free.(Source: WAFF)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 11:49 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) announced that it is eliminating fines charged for overdue items.

This decision was voted on unanimously by members of the Board of Directors in May.

“We are proud to join the hundreds of libraries nationwide who are ensuring open access to library materials by going fine free,” Executive Director of HMCPL, Cindy Hewitt, said in a statement. “It is important that the children in our community are able to access books without the threat of overdue fines so they have an opportunity to increase their literacy levels.”

HMCPL is the first large library system in Alabama to go fine free. The revenue from the fines makes up less than 1% of the library’s income.

Currently, there are 22,000 accounts that are blocked due to fines. With the decision, the library anticipates more Huntsville residents will use the library.

“The public library is an essential community asset tasked with meeting the information needs of all persons in the community,” Hewitt said in a statement. “By becoming a fine-free library, HMCPL will welcome back customers, gain new customers, as well as realign staff time towards meeting this mission moving forward.”

Customers will still be charged for lost items. To find out more about the new policy, click here.

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