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No more late fees at Okanagan Regional Library branches

FILE PHOTO - The main branch of the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna is seen in this undated photo.
Image Credit: Okanagan Regional Library

The Okanagan Regional Library has announced, effective immediately, it is a fines-free library.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional library suspended its late fees system to ensure people who were stuck at home could continue accessing library resources without having to worry about accruing late fees, according to a media release issued Saturday, Sept. 23. The regional library system has over two dozen branches in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Shuswap regions including Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm. It doesn't have a branch in Penticton. 

“We wanted you to focus on what truly matters - your well-being and that of your loved ones - without worrying about the return date of your library items,” CEO Danielle Hubbard says in the release.

The library noticed the change didn't negatively impact the return of library items or decrease the quality of the library’s collection but made the it more inclusive and accessible, encouraging more people to take advantage of the ORL services and resources.

The regional library board unanimously decided to permanently get rid of late fees.

While the late fees are now completely withheld, fees for damaged or lost items will still remain to ensure the maintenance of the collection’s quality.

“We believe that libraries are a cornerstone of vibrant, thriving communities, and this change reflects our commitment to being a library for everyone,” Hubbard says. “Thank you for your continued support as we move into this exciting new chapter.”

To find an Okanagan Regional Library branch near you, go here.

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