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Going Fine-Free


San Mateo County libraries are the latest local agency to eliminate high pain and low gain fines. After their analysis found that late-return fees are not a significant revenue source, do not encourage prompt returns, and prevent residents, particularly in low-income communities, from accessing local libraries, the San Mateo County library system decided to stop assessing the fines. Last summer, San Mateo County eliminated and forgave $12.6 million in juvenile administrative and defense fees. Fair and effective revenue collection policies contribute to the financial security, and ultimately the health and well-being, of our communities.