Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library eliminates fines for remainder of 2020

Savings from the closure of the library because of COVID-19 will make up for lost fine revenue

Residents who use the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library are off the hook if they have items that are overdue. The Library will not be charging late fines for the remainder of 2020. This does not apply to lost or damaged material.

“Eliminating late fees is a simple but direct way for the Library to better support our community members throughout the pandemic,” said Jennifer Harrison, Chair of the BWG Public Library Board. “Over the past four months, library staff have worked diligently to provide innovative programming online and through Curbside Service. We look forward to the fall and are focused on reducing financial barriers to Library services and ensuring respect for local residents’ hard-earned money.”

Lost revenue from removing late fees means the library is expected to lose out on about $17,000 in planned revenue this year. However, the library board announced in the spring that its Finance Committee is tracking between $180,000 and $400,000 in potential savings from the COVID-19 closure, including deferring planned capital projects, reducing utility costs and other natural savings. The money the library won’t be getting from late fees will be funded by the accrued savings.

“Fines are a significant barrier for many members of our community and we are committed to equitable access to resources and collections. From families who might not be able to commit to bringing back materials on time, to teens in low-income families, we have a responsibility to marginalized members of our community and eliminating late fines will make a real difference,” said CEO Matthew Corbett.