In June 2020, the Rochester Library Board voted to remove overdue fees. The result was increased and more equitable access for patrons, especially for families unsure about their financial futures during the pandemic.

“We found that for those who reported feeling financially stressed, going fine-free improved their access to library materials,” said Karen Lemke, the library's head of marketing and community engagement.

In a recent survey, 46% of respondents said eliminating fines increased access to materials during the pandemic. For individuals experiencing financial stress, the impact was much greater.

The latest survey results mirror those received after pilot projects in 2017 and 2019, when respondents said eliminating overdue fines allowed greater access to library resources.

Thumbs up to the library for giving the thumbs down on library fees

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Guess your weight

Airlines are struggling to keep up with the weight of U.S. passengers, and some operators could soon require heavier passengers to step on a scale or provide their weight before boarding.

A new Federal Aviation Administration advisory is seeking new data on average passenger weights to account for America's bulging beltlines.

Passengers would be selected at random and asked to step on a scale. If a scale is not feasible, the passenger would be asked his or her weight (adding 10 pounds for clothing).

To protect people's privacy, the FAA advisory requires that the scale readouts not be visible to the public and that the airlines keep all of the data confidential. Travelers also have the option to refuse to participate. Thumbs down to the country's weight problem.

'Serious safety concerns'

Finally, it's a pretty obvious thumbs down to the man who streamed Snapchat video of himself climbing the water tower in Hayfield.

"This guy decided to climb the Hayfield water tower last week and live streamed it on Snapchat," the Dodge County Sheriff's Office's Facebook post read. "We are looking for the public's help to identify this idiot so we can properly welcome him to the county with a trespassing ticket."

The man posted the video publicly on May 18, and a Hayfield city employee saw it and informed the sheriff's office.

"The last thing we want to see is copycats because there are serious safety concerns up there," Sheriff Scott Rose said. "We just don't want anybody hurt."