By CBSLA Staff

BURBANK (CBSLA) — The Burbank Public Library is officially fine-free.

As of Thursday, the library will no longer charge fines for late returns, “in an effort to improve equity of access.”

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“While fines for overdue items may seem like a small burden, they can create a major barrier to service for those who are struggling financially,” Library Services Director Elizabeth Goldman said in a statement. “Too many people have made the choice to stop using the library because of inability to pay or fear of accruing fines.”

Dozens of other cities have dropped their fines saying the benefits of the library outweigh the effectiveness of fines.

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Burbank officials said other cities that have ended fines have seen returns of long-overdue items.

“Making this change will allow increased access to materials and services, especially for our younger patrons,” said Emily Weisberg, chair of the Burbank Board of Library Trustees. “By eliminating the barriers that fines represent, we’re better able to meet our mission of connecting our community members to opportunities for growth, inspiration and discovery.”

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)