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Libraries in Seneca County have announced that they will go fine-free and no longer charge for late items in 2019.

The county's five libraries in Seneca Falls, Interlaken, Lodi, Ovid and Waterloo made the decision as libraries across the country do the same. Seneca will be the first county in the Finger Lakes Library System to do so.

The decision was based on evaluating how fines affect library users and hinder further usage, as well as loss of revenue. The latter was considered minimal upon consideration of the time it took for library staff to collect fines and other fine-reducing programs like donating food in place of paying fines.

"(We're) looking forward to better (serving) all our patrons, and encouraging literacy and reading without time constraints. Thank you to our community for their support and vision as we go forward," Seneca Falls Library Director Jenny Burnett said in the release.

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