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Richmond Hill Public Library Goes Fine-Free To Support Community in Economically Hard Times

Thanks to a decision by the Richmond Hill Public Library Board, community members can borrow books, DVDs, video games and more without being fined for returning items after their due date. The decision will apply to all items borrowed in 2021.

“Fines can provide an additional and unnecessary burden at a time when our community is going through increasingly trying times, especially our most vulnerable residents,” says Greg Beros, RHPL Board Chair. “By eliminating fines in 2021, we’re reducing barriers for our students, families, seniors and other library users who access important learning and cultural resources.”

The Library Board made the decision to remove fines temporarily when branches closed in March 2020, and extended the decision to the end of 2021 during the final board meeting of last year. If items become significantly overdue, community members will still be required to pay replacement costs if they are not returned.

“The last thing we want our residents to worry about is library fines at a time when so many people have been impacted by this pandemic,” says Darren Solomon, RHPL Chief Executive Officer. “Our library needs to be here for our community in hard times and eliminating fines is one of the many ways we’re adapting our services for our community, including pivoting to virtual programming and curbside pick-ups, expanding our digital resources, and adding virtual reference desks.”

RHPL continues to provide innovative services, including affordable online programs, access to learning apps, and more. In the current stage of lockdown, community members can place holds on items online and receive them through a pre-booked curbside pickup service available at all RHPL locations.

The Library is seeing a growing demand for borrowed items, with over 100 customers served daily through curbside pickup. Find more information on current library services at www.rhpl.ca/reopening.