Onondaga County Waives Late Fees and Fines at All Public Libraries | Politics

The citizen staff

Onondaga County officials want to encourage people to take advantage of public libraries without worrying about racking up a bill in the process.

The county announced this week that county public libraries will stop charging late fees and waive all previously accrued fines.

In total, there are 11 municipal libraries and 14 suburban libraries which are or will be free. By waiving all currently unpaid fees and fines, over 26,000 customers will benefit from $282,917 in outstanding fines.

The county said outstanding fines represent less than 0.3% of the 2022 operating budget.

County Libraries stopped charging fines on children’s cards in 2016 and on veterans’ cards in 2019. Fees will still be in place for lost, damaged, and some specialty items.

“Our libraries have evolved into robust ecosystems that are much bigger than a place for books or magazines,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said in a news release. “They provide a wide variety of resources that are vital to many people in our community. Additionally, Onondaga County is constantly striving to remove barriers for people as we work towards our overall recovery. By giving up to all outstanding fees and fines and by not charging them again in the future, we ensure that all members of our community can enjoy our library system.

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