Late fees eliminated for youth material at Austin Public Library

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two big changes at Austin Public Library went into effect Monday, aimed at removing financial barriers to library access.

The first is the decision to eliminate overdue fines on youth materials — except for laptops — returned late. The second is the introduction of a low-cost eCard for non-residents available for $22 a year.

The eCard, which gives users access to APL’s Virtual Library, is available to Texas residents age 18 and older who don’t live within the Austin city limits. The full-access card for non-residents costs $120 per year.

The virtual library includes eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies, music, eLearning tools and research databases.

The library said the changes were made following national trends to remove financial barriers to library access in cities like Portland, Santa Monica, Providence and Denver. 

“We are working hard to understand how existing policies disproportionately impact the customers who rely on our services the most and we are finding ways to eliminate these economic burdens,” said Roosevelt Weeks, the director of libraries.

The eCard application is available online at library.austintexas.gov.

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