The New York Public Library has decided to clear all fees on late materials and books. The fine-free rule took effect on October 5, 2021. CEO Anthony Marx considered overdue fees as an “ineffective” way of encouraging people to return books.

“Libraries are for everyone yet fines create problems in accessing services for those who need it most,” said city council speaker Corey Johnson. In an effort to welcome people back or to libraries for the first time, public libraries in New York will be holding a week of giveaways and special programs beginning on Monday, October 18. The Big Apple’s public library system has 92 locations, including branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and the Brooklyn and Queens Public Library.

New York joins other U.S. cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, all of which have cleared previous late fees. So far, the removal of late fines has been a success in many different cities. The Chicago Public Library reported an 83% increase in book returns months after the rule change.