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Milwaukee's libraries are forgiving overdue fees

Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 26, 2016

Overdue fees bring in about $400,000 a year for Milwaukee County Libraries, but from Sept. 26 to Oct. 9, they won't be collected.

It's part of an effort to get more people using the libraries, which have expanded their hours to six days a week.

For Katey Ratz, it's a huge relief. After suffering two brain injuries resulting in memory loss, she forgot about several books. Due to her disability, reading is not only a favorite pastime, but also helps keep her brain healthy.

She's been paying off $100 in fees for a couple of years, "a couple dollars at a time," she explained. Monday, she returned to the library stack, fresh card in hand.

Library Deputy Director Joan Johnson said they want to break down barriers for people who may have avoided the library due to unaffordable fees. She said the library offers free resources, including computers, wifi, adult educational opportunities, business advice and children's programming.

She hopes people will use the next two weeks to get a new start with the libraries and take advantage of what they have to offer.

Learn more here.