Across the state of Minnesota, local governments are finding creative ways to deliver services to their residents with greater impact and at lower cost.
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs supports and celebrates those efforts through its annual Local Government Innovation Awards (LGIA), which is recognizing 17 local government entities this year.
This year’s winning projects include removing barriers to books by eliminating library late fees, facilitating healthy business ownership transitions so rural communities can continue to thrive, and combining public works facilities to reduce maintenance costs and infrastructure needs.
City Category: City of St. Paul, St. Paul Public Library—Your Library: Now Fine Free
St. Paul Public Library eliminated the traditional practice of administering daily late fines on overdue materials in 2019. This decision unblocked more than 42,000 cards of library users whose borrowing privileges had been suspended, many of whom live in areas of concentrated poverty. This change ensures that all people, regardless of ability to pay, can borrow library materials as long as they bring them back.