Tag Archives: Berkeley Public Library fine amnesty


Nearly $30k in fines waived in library fee amnesty

The Berkeley Public Library at 2090 Kittredge St. Photo:
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A recent effort by the Berkeley Public Library to encourage patrons to return, and get back misplaced items, was, according to library staff, a success.

“We’re really pleased with how the Fines Amnesty went. More users came back to the Library, we recovered lost materials, and I think it generated a lot of goodwill right before the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Douglas Smith, deputy library director, via email.

The amnesty program took place for about two weeks in November; patrons had to go into the library or otherwise speak with staff to get overdue fees waived. (Patrons were still held responsible for fees for missing items, damaged materials and the like.)

The library waived $28,139 in fines, and collected about $4,300 in fees not subject to the amnesty, such as replacement charges for lost or damaged books. … Continue reading »

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10 days left to escape Berkeley Library overdue fines

Patrons who need a replacement card can choose from among four designs. See all of the design options here.
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Starting this week, the Berkeley Public Library is forgiving overdue fines for patrons with outstanding bills and items. The amnesty program, in effect through Saturday, Nov. 17, is a way to bring back books and boost circulation, officials said.

“The reason we’re doing this is not only to try and recover materials that people have been hanging onto for fear of the large fines they’ve accrued,” said Douglas Smith, the library’s deputy director. “We also want to let the community know, people who have been borrowers in the past, that they’re welcome to come back and we miss them. We want people to use the library and not let overdue fines create fear that prevents them from using the resource.”

Smith said the last amnesty took place in early 2008; the library forgave nearly $35,000 in fines at that time.  … Continue reading »

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