Several area library branches are adopting a policy eliminating fines for items returned after their due dates.

Going forward, if people keep an item past its due date, his or her library account will be temporarily blocked. The person will be unable to check out more materials or use some of the digital services until late materials are returned.

If materials are not returned two months after the due date, patrons will be charged for the cost to replace it. All charges will be cleared from the patron’s account when the materials are returned, even if it has been several years.

The decision follows a national trend to make libraries more accessible to the public. Many libraries across the country are adopting fine-free policies and as a result have seen an uptick in returned materials and more patrons registering for library cards, according to a news release about the decision.

Fines end Saturday at the following libraries:

  • Asotin County Library, Asotin school libraries, Clarkston School District libraries.
  • Lewiston City Library, Lewiston School District libraries.
  • Lapwai school libraries.
  • Orofino School District libraries and Clearwater Memorial Public Library in Orofino.
  • Prairie River District libraries.

— Inland 360 staff

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