The Vancouver Island Regional Library system (VIRL) has permanently removed late fees for all of its items.
The move comes after late fees for young adult and adult materials were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Then, one year later in September 2021, VIRL board members voted to permanently remove fines for young adult materials and place a one-year moratorium on late fees for adult materials.
On Thursday, the library system announced it would be permanently removing all of its fines as of Jan. 1, 2023.
“This decision from our board means more families will have access to reading and educational materials, more seniors will be able to connect with their libraries, and no one will suffer the indignity and embarrassment of punitive fines restricting their ability to read, watch, and listen to the 750,000 physical items in our collection,” said VIRL executive director Ben Hyman.
“I would like to thank staff for their advocacy and vision to make our system fine free, and our board for supporting this values-aligned outcome,” he said in a release Thursday.
While late fees in the library system have been scrapped, people will still be charged for the cost of replacing an item if it is not returned within 120 days.