Farewell to Overdue Fines
Overdue Materials Policy: Beginning July 1, 2018, the San Diego Public Library is no longer charging users a daily overdue fee for items returned late. Under this new policy, items can be checked out for their standard loan period and, if eligible, renewed up to five times. Library cardholders are responsible for returning or renewing items to prevent their library card from being blocked or barred.
Here are some important numbers to remember when checking out Library materials under the new Library Overdue Materials Fine Policy.
Materials are considered late one day after they are due to the Library. If you have an overdue item, your library card will be blocked and you will not be able to check-out any additional items or place holds on Library materials. You are still able to use the library and renew other materials you have checked out.
At seven days overdue, we will send you an email alerting you that your Library materials are overdue and must be returned or renewed.
At 14 days overdue, we will email you a second reminder to return or renew your items.
At 30 days overdue, the Library will consider the items lost and email you an invoice for the cost of the overdue item, applicable service fees, and your library card will be barred, preventing you from renewing or checking out items.
At 60 days overdue, if you haven’t returned the item or paid the invoice, the debt will be transferred to the City Treasurer. The library will no longer accept payments for the City Treasurer. All Treasurer Accounts must be paid directly to the City Treasurer. Your library card will be barred until we are notified by the City Treasurer that the fine has been paid. At this point, it is very important that you pay the invoice. Unpaid invoices sent by the City Treasurer will affect your CREDIT RATING!!!!
Library accounts with lost card replacement fees or Inter-Library Loan fines will not be sent to the Office of the City Treasurer after 60 days. However, Library accounts still have a $10 threshold for fees and fines. If you have more than $10 in fines accrued from sources other than “overdue SDPL materials,” your card will be blocked and you will not be able to check out any additional items.
Why the policy change? Analysis by the City of San Diego revealed that it costs more in staff time to collect overdue fees than the fees collected. The Library collects $675,000 in fees each year and spends nearly $1 million to collect them. This new policy will allow the Library to make better use of its staff time and resources. The City’s analysis also showed that overdue fees were preventing people from using Library services. With this new policy, the Library expects to improve access its numerous resources in low-income communities where up to 40 percent of cardholders are prohibited from checking out materials because of outstanding fees.