VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Children’s materials will no longer have late fees, or any kind of fines at all.

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) announced that starting this month, fines on children’s books, movies, and other materials have been eliminated. Outstanding fines have also been waived.

According to David Carson, VIRL’s director of corporate communications, eliminating the fees meant giving access to children from all backgrounds to learning materials.

“It comes down to access and removing barriers to access. They did disproportionately affect people who were in economically-challenged situations. We wanted to remove those barriers to make sure we were providing access (for) children across our library system,” Carson said.

“Removing library fines opens doors and it really lets kids be kids.”

According to a release from the VIRL, the system’s board of directors passed the motion to waive all fines at their final meeting in 2018.

Carson also said that eliminating and waiving all the fines on children’s materials will not affect the system’s finances. He added that children’s materials fines do not make up a significant amount of VIRL’s revenue.

“We thought that kids shouldn’t be punished for late materials  and really, not giving them access to library materials was a form of punishment.”

“It’s about investing in their (children’s) future, it’s about ensuring we were providing equitable access across our library system.”

Fines on young adult and adult materials are not expected to change any time soon.