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Should Libraries Charge Late Fees?

Do you use the library? Have you had to pay for returning a book late? Many libraries charge a late fee. If you return a book after its due date, you pay a fine. But this might be changing. For public libraries, anyway. Some say these fees stop some people from using the library. And the point of libraries is to make books available. So we asked our readers what they think about late fees. Keep them? Or get rid of them? Here’s what two kids had to say.


Fiona Sheehy, 9

Pelham, NY

Libraries should charge late fees. Do you enjoy the library? You can discover new books there. But you might not get a chance if kids don’t return the books. Paying a fee will teach kids to be responsible. This will help when they get older and have a job. Some borrowers return books late. The fees will help the library. The money can be used to make it a better place. So late fees are a must.


Aiden Robinson, 10

Foster City, CA

Libraries should not charge late fees. Lots of people borrow a book and return it late. It’s often a mistake. Some people just need time to finish the book. Fines at some libraries have reached $50 for a couple of books. Many kids can’t afford that. And a late fee doesn’t make people more responsible. What works is sending reminders. Or libraries can provide more overnight book drops. I read that this helped in Brooklyn, New York.