Visa and MasterCard

Effective November 1, 2010, the DC Public Library will accept Visa and MasterCard online at to pay for fines and fees.  Additionally, library staff will no longer have access to the money boxes connected to the copy machines.

Below are frequently asked questions related to the procedure changes.

How do I pay online?
Library card holders can log on to their account at and follow the instructions to access the library’s secure website to pay by Visa or MasterCard. The revenue generated allows the library to purchase new books and other library materials.

What are the fines and copy costs?  Will they increase? 
• Return item by due date -- No fee
• Item not returned in 30 days after due date -- $5 overdue fee
• Item not returned in 60 days after due date -- Lost/damaged fee
          Magazine $8
          Hardcover $20
          Paperback $15
          Media (CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, videocassettes) $15
• Fees totaling $40 or more – library card blocked from checking out materials
• No fees are charged to library accounts for kids ages 19 and younger

There are no fines on children’s books.  Black and white copies cost 15 cents per copy or print out. Color copies cost 35 cents per copy or print out. At this time, we do not anticipate an increase in fines or copy costs.

How can I avoid paying fines?
Users can avoid paying fines by returning their books, DVDs, CDs or other library materials on time or extending their borrowing period.  Users can extend their borrowing period by visiting any library location or logging in to their catalog account.

Why are there no fines on children’s books?
It is a key priority of the DC Public Library to provide children with access to books. As such, the library board continues this long-standing practice to waive fines for children’s books in order to encourage children to check out books.

Who do I make the check or money order out to?
Checks and money orders should be made out to the D.C. Treasurer.

Do I need to present photo ID when paying by Visa, MasterCard or check?
All checks must include the identification number of a government issued drivers license or identification card along with library card, library name, and customer name, address and phone number. Identification is not required if paying by Visa or MasterCard online.   

Does the name on the Visa or MasterCard need to match the library card holder’s name?
The name on the Visa or MasterCard does not need to match the library card holder’s name.