Not long ago there was a study at the Bowling Green State University. The goal was to find out whether user would feel more responsible to bring back their items at time when charged with fines or if they did not care. For that purpose, there were two groups - one was charged with fines, the other was not. The result: neither time of return nor amount of borrowed items seemed to be influenced by the library charging fines. User use their items as long as they need to and then return the item. And this is not the only voice standing up against library fines. Andy Woodworth, a prominent librarian in the USA, for example deals with the topic as well - as you can see on this website here: https://endlibraryfines.info/
Is it time to rethink our policies in Germany as well? Has anybody heard of libraries here that already went fine-free? What are your thoughts?
For anybody interested, you can read about the study here: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/ul_pub/53/