Users of the La Crosse Public Library could see a change when it comes to late fines and fees.
La Crosse Public Library is working to become fine-free. Libraries of all sizes across the country continue to adopt fine-free policies.
Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Director of the La Crosse Public Library, says the purpose of fines have become irrelevant in the 21st century. She says punishing users for not returning the materials on time goes against the library's mission of access for everyone.
"When you are struggling with your basic needs--housing, food--the last thing on your priority list is trying to remember to get your library books back," said Krieg-Sigman. "So, we want especially our most vulnerable citizens to be able to come here without feeling scared, without feeling frustrated."
She says the change will allow library staff to focus on other more pressing issues.
Eliminating fines will have a small impact on the overall budget, but Krieg-Sigman says it is not enough to raise concern.
Users will still be charged late fees on materials from certain special collections. Charges for never returning material will continue as well.
The Library Board will vote on becoming fine-free in a meeting on Tuesday, March 13 at 5 p.m.
If the recommendation passes, the fine-free policy will be effective on July 1, 2018.