The Enoch Pratt Free Library made history by becoming the one of the first urban libraries to waive overdue fines in the state of Maryland and on the East Coast.
The library is scheduled to announce the elimination of overdue fines customers on all Pratt-owned materials Monday.
Mayor Cathrine Pugh will make the official announcement at the Free to Bmore Community Block Party at 2:30 p.m. The event will be held from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Library officials said all fines will be waived if materials are returned to the library. Fees will still apply for lost or damaged materials and materials borrowed from other systems through inter-library loan.
The waiver was initiated to help customers who struggle with paying overdue fines. Pratt Library President & CEO Heidi Daniel stated, “we know fines are a barrier to access for thousands of Baltimore city residents. We want to break down that barrier for them."
According to the library, more than 13,000 current Pratt customers cannot borrow books because of their unpaid fines.
Daniel said, “I’ve seen parents tell children not to take out library books because they fear having fines they can’t pay. We want to ease those financial worries and welcome everyone back to their library.”