Toronto Public Libraries eliminate fines because 'racialized' people don't return books on time
Toronto Sun: Diversity, Equity, & Infantilization.
'“Removing late fines for everyone – as other library systems across North America have done — eliminates a significant barrier to equitable access to our public libraries. This is the right thing to do, right now to help people across our city and I’m glad we were able to support this change in the City of Toronto’s 2022 budget.”
'Library fines were paused at the beginning of the pandemic by TPL and now that policy is permanent, with about 57,000 TPL cardholders having their account cleared of fines.
'Fines account for less than 1.2 % of TPL’s annual operating budget and Tory said late fines can be a significant expense for those from low-income areas.
'“We know overdue fines have a disproportionate impact on racialized and low-income communities in Toronto, who have been blocked from library use at a higher rate than others because of the financial hardship and barrier imposed by late fees,” Tory added. “An outstanding $10 fine can keep people away from the library. They just won’t come back.”'