New Hanover County Public Library drops fines for overdue children’s documents

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – If you delay your visit to the library because you have books and other materials overdue, the New Hanover County Public Library no longer charges fines.

In addition, existing overdue fines on children’s documents will be waived and no longer accumulate.

The library made the change as part of the New Hanover County Commissioner’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget, which aims to increase access to library resources and address equity concerns.

“Eliminating late fees is increasingly common in public libraries, as research shows that overdue fines have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable library users, and families unable to pay the fines. are likely to stop using the library’s services, ”said library director Paige Owens. “Excessive overdue fines cause cards to be blocked and may cause caregivers to terminate children’s access to the library. Children who need the library the most then lose access to our services and materials, and miss the opportunity to build a relationship with the library.

It is important to note that borrowers will continue to receive overdue notices reminding them to return late documents, but no fines will be charged for children’s items that are returned late.

However, for lost or damaged items, library users will still have to cover these costs.

Additionally, all New Hanover County Public Library locations are extending their hours of operation starting Monday, August 2:

  • Monday-Thursday: 10 am-7pm
  • Friday-Saturday: 10 am-5pm
  • Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re going to extend our hours of operation and open on Sunday afternoons, which we haven’t been able to do since the start of the pandemic,” Owens said. “We know a lot of our customers are excited and ready for these new hours, and so are we.”

For more information about the New Hanover County Public Library, visit

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