Nearly 74,000 San Diegans get library privileges back

SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego library system will reinstate nearly 74,000 residents who were previously banned from the system due to outstanding fees on overdue items.

The city is removing bans for 73,726 residents as a way of celebrating National Library Week. However, more than 130,000 residents remained banned from city libraries due to their outstanding fees.

According to city officials, some 40 percent of residents in some of the city’s low-income communities have been banned due to overdue book and resource fees. City Councilman Chris Cate called the bans unreasonable and contradictory to the intention of libraries as a place to learn.

“Libraries are known as the `great equalizers’ because we provide equal access for all patrons, regardless of their socio-economic status,” said Misty Jones, the director of the city’s library system. “Wiping the slate clean of outstanding fines means welcoming back many of the underserved patrons who most need our services.”

Jones and Cate are expected to hold a news conference at the North Clairemont Library to reinstate the previously banned residents. The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

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