S.F. Libraries Offer Amnesty for Overdue Fines

Ring in the new year by bringing back your old books, as city libraries offer amnesty on all overdue fines in January and February.

The San Francisco Public Library system is doing its part to help you kick off the new year without your usual sense of shame, avoidance, and procrastination. For the first six weeks of 2017, the library is offering full amnesty for all returned overdue materials and lingering overdue fines.

The library announced this week that a Fine Forgiveness Program will be in effect from Jan. 3 – Feb. 14, 2017, cutting you complete slack on overdue items returned during that period. The Fine Forgiveness Program applies to all overdue books, CDs, DVDs or other overdue items from any of the 27 libraries in the S.F. Public Library system.

You can even get your old fines waived for overdue items that you returned years ago for which never bothered to pay the fines. “In addition to clearing the overdue fines for material returned, all other fines on your record will be cleared including overdue fines for materials that have been previously returned,” according to the Fine Forgiveness Program FAQ. You just need to call or visit a library before Feb. 14 to get your old fines waived.

There are a couple of exceptions to the full amnesty offer. Lost and damaged items are still subject to their previous fees. But the amnesty deal is being offered at every public library branch in town.

The S.F. Examiner estimates that there are more than 150,000 S.F. Public Library patrons with overdue materials, nearly 55,000 of whom have had their check-out privileges revoked. If you’re one of those people, it’s highly recommended that you jump on the library’s first overdue fine amnesty offer since 2009.

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