The Windsor Public Library has promised to waive all overdue fees and other library fines, so long as borrowers return any and all overdue materials between Dec. 4 and Dec. 31.
The promise is tied to the library's 125th anniversary, which falls on Dec. 4
In addition to promising to waive all outstanding library fees, the library will be holding special events and displays throughout December.
"We want to welcome back customers who would like to visit but are reticent to do so because of the barrier presented by fines owing," said Chris Woodrow, director of corporate services with the Windsor Public Library.
At the same time, any library users with fines on their accounts but no overdue materials can contact the library so the fines can be waived and account blocks can be lifted.
"Our 125th anniversary is an important milestone and should be marked by an event that positively impacts the community and is in keeping with 125 years of service to the Windsor community," said Woodrow.
According to the Windsor Public Library, there are approximately 87,800 library cards in circulation, representing more than 40 per cent of the community.
More than 725,000 people visited the library in 2018 — and as of September 2019 almost 1,000 card holders are blocked from taking out books due to more than $20 in overdue fines.
Although the amnesty period could result in more than $20,000 in lost revenue — if everyone with fines returned their books — Adam Craig said the initiative isn't about the dollar values attached.
"It's more about removing barriers to access for library users," said Craig, manager of public services for the library. "In addition to this, having long overdue materials that we though were lost returned is a bonus for everyone."