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Many of us, at some point or another, have borrowed a book from the library and never brought it back.

Maybe you lost the book, maybe you just never got around to returning it. But whatever the case, the result is always the same: you feel too ashamed to ever set foot in the library again. After all, those fees accumulated so much over the years they probably cost more than actually buying the book at retail price.

The second result, however, is reduced readership. Over time, more and more people avoid going back to the library so they never have to face those late fees again. In Saskatchewan, the problem actually became so severe that the Saskatoon Public Library recently decided it was going to wipe all late fees. That’s right — poof! — one million dollars, gone.

“It’s not like we’ve lost anything,” Carol Cooley, Director of Libraries, said. “We’re not going to collect those fines in the first place.”

The end goal is simply to get people feeling comfortable about returning to the library and borrowing books (and hopefully not repeating the same mistake). Based on our own personal experience, we think it’ll work. At first, at least.

You can learn about more changes Cooley has in store for the future of libraries in the video, above.