No Late Fees

Beginning July 1, 2018, Berkeley Public Library will no longer charge daily overdue fines for teen and adult books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines returned past their due date. (Read the current policy)
The Library will continue to charge daily fees for late return of:
• Tools
• Science equipment
• Laptops
• Link+ items
Replacement fees for lost or damaged items, and fees associated with collecting replacement costs through a collection agency will also remain in place.

Why is BPL eliminating daily overdue fines?

Access to books and information is vital for everyone and is a key part of BPL’s mission.
The Library has not charged daily late fees for children’s materials for at least 30 years, and has done so successfully. We believe extending this practice to teen and adult materials will be just as successful.

When does this go into effect?

On July 1, 2018. By July 1, the Library will have removed applicable overdue fines in your account. If a daily fine remains on your account that you believe should have been removed, please speak with a Library staff-member.

Will old fines carry over?

No. However, charges for replacement of lost or missing items and/or collection agency fees remain. Lost or missing item fees can be removed either by payment or return of billed items. The Library is unable to remove collection agency fees.

I just paid off my late fines. Do I get a refund?

No. We thank you for your support of the Library. The Library cannot refund previously paid overdue fines.

Aside from late fines, are any other fees changing (e.g., replacement costs, collection agency fees)?

Along with overdue fines, processing fees associated with materials that are not returned are also being eliminated. Additionally, we are creating a simplified schedule of fines for overdue tools from the Tool Lending Library.
Replacement costs and collection agency fees remain unchanged.
As in the past, patrons with three or more overdue items cannot check out more titles until they have returned the overdue items.

I have always thought of paying overdue fines as a way to support the Library. How can I continue to financially support Library services?

We appreciate your support! There are three ways you can financially support Berkeley Public Library services:
• Donate directly to the Library. Library staff can accept your contribution at any of our branch service desks or at the Central Library’s first floor service desk.
• Donate to the Berkeley Public Library Foundation. The Foundation supports innovative Library projects and building improvements.
• Donate books or become a member of the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library. Money raised by the Friends from sales at their two bookstores supports the Library’s public programming.
The Foundation and Friends are both registered as a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit organizations. The Library and these two support organizations are considered qualified charitable organizations for tax purposes by the IRS. Your contributions may help lower your income tax bill.