St. Louis Public Library (SLPL) is fine-free! As of January 6, 2020, SLPL will no longer charge fines on late materials. Additionally, SLPL has erased all existing fines!
Eliminating fines will allow customers greater access to all of the resources available at the library including books, DVDs, online classes, eMedia and more. Cardholders will still be responsible for returning items and paying for any lost or damaged materials.
St. Louis Public Library CEO Waller McGuire said, “Public libraries provide vital resources and life enrichment throughout our communities. Individuals, families, businesses, adults, children—the world comes through our doors and networks. Our board vote to open more doors by eliminating fines. It is a wonderful gift for St. Louis and a great step forward for the region.”
SLPL's Board of Trustees approved the elimination of fines in December 2019. Revenue attributed to fines has fallen steadily in recent years. The Board decided on the change as a way of reducing barriers and increasing equity for library users.
All SLPL customers will still receive notices when items are due, and again if items are not returned. After 42 days, unreturned items will be considered lost and customers will be responsible for those items.
SLPL joins a number of other library systems across the country in eliminating fines. The Urban Libraries Council created an interactive map that shows which library systems have taken steps to eliminate overdue fees.