Mid-MS Regional Library System Announces, “The End of Late Fees” and “The Return of Browsing” to Celebrate National Library Week

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National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021) is a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library supporters play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to Your Library,” and the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System (MMRLS) is announcing two important initiatives to celebrate this event.

First, to make the library more accessible and inviting for all, the library is announcing the elimination of all overdue or “late” fees for library materials owned by MMRLS. Any guest who currently owes a late fee on any MMRLS item will have that fee waived. Going forward, any guest with an overdue MMRLS owned item will not be charged a late fee.

“Our goal at MMRLS is to make everyone feel welcome to visit and use the services of their local library,” said MMRLS Executive Director Josh Haidet. “While customers will need to bring overdue items back before checking out more items or using other library services, as well as to continue to pay for lost or damaged items, we hope this change will encourage more people to check out more items without having to worry about facing a financial penalty. Our Administrative Board and I recognize that the hectic lives of our patrons sometimes make it difficult to avoid late fees, which often served to discourage use of our library system. Obviously, that is the last thing we want to happen,” Haidet said.

Second, the library system is welcoming patrons back into the book and DVD shelves, as full browsing will again be available at all locations. “In order to combat the spread of COVID-19, the library system had to make some difficult choices over the past year,” said Haidet. “Our patrons have been extremely patient with us, and while we’ve been offering limited browsing collections plus curbside service for quite some time now, we’ve also heard from many patrons asking when they’d be able to browse our bookshelves again. We’re so happy to again be able to give everyone the freedom to view the entirety of our vast collections and choose what materials they need or want for themselves.”

For more information about National Library Week, including virtual library programming, follow MMRLS on social media @midmisslib, call or visit your local branch library, or the library’s website at www.midmisslib.com. All library services are made possible thanks to the continued financial support of our local elected officials.

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