Library Launches New Fee System

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Library Launches New Fee System

To serve customers better, the DC Public Library will implement a new fee policy for overdue or lost books starting Friday, April 6. 

There will be no daily late fees under the new guidelines.   Instead, items that are 30 days or more overdue will have a “long overdue” flat fee of $5 per item.  Items that are overdue 60 days or more will be considered lost or damaged and will carry an additional fee ranging from $8 - $20 depending on the type of item (i.e., magazine, paperback, hardcover, DVD, etc.), in addition to the “long overdue” $5 fee. 

"The easiest way to avoid library fees is by returning items on time," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia.  "If a book is kept past its due date, the new fees make it easier for people to know what they owe without penalizing them so harshly that they don't want to visit the Library."

There will continue to be no late fees for children and teen materials.  In addition to a new fee structure, the maximum fee that users can accrue before the Library blocks their account from checking out books will rise from $15 to $40.

The fee change is designed to minimize the barriers to checking out and returning library books. Under the old system, fees were assessed the day after the item was due at $.20 a day for books and CDs and $1 a day for overdue DVDs. 

Library users can pay fees with their Visa or MasterCard online by logging into their catalog account.  Cash payments can be made at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  Neighborhood libraries cannot accept cash payments.