BARRIE, ONT. -- The Innisfil ideaLAB and Library is closing the book for good on fines for returning items late.

Overdue fines have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but will be permanently eliminated as of July 1.

The library says all existing late fees will be cleared. Once an item is 21 days late, it will be considered lost, and you will be billed for it. Returning the outstanding item will wipe out the bill.

The elimination of library fees has gained momentum across North America in recent years. Proponents see it as a way to ensure continued access to library resources for users who may not have the money to cover hefty bills and stay away because they feel ashamed.

All four branches of the Innisfil ideaLab and Library remain closed, but drop-boxes are available. Curbside pickup is also being offered at the Cookstown, Lakeshore and Stroud branches.