The Crawford County Federated Library System (CCFLS) is eliminating late-fee fines permanently.

Effective Sunday, all nine libraries in the CCFLS will wipe clean any overdue fines and will no longer charge them. The libraries haven't charged fines since March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Studies have shown that overdue fines actually tend to discourage people from going to their library," said CCFLS President Susan Slote in a release, "instead, they create a barrier to essential services for those who need them most.

"As a result, CCFLS's decision to abolish fines expands our ability to focus on one of our most crucial jobs — promoting literacy in our communities."

Any overdue materials can now be returned to CCFLS libraries with no financial penalty. Fees for lost and damaged items will still be charged and cards will be blocked when materials are five days overdue to ensure return.

The CCFLS includes Meadville Public Library, Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, Cambridge Springs Public Library, Cochranton Public Library, Linesville Area Community Library, Margaret Shontz Memorial Library at Conneaut Lake, Saegertown Area Library, Springboro Public Library, and Stone Memorial Library in Conneautville.

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