Children's & Young Adult Materials = Fine Free

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$0 Late Fines for Children's & Young Adult Materials

The San José Public Library is excited to announce that on June 11, City Council approved the Mayor's proposal to eliminate late fines for youth during Fiscal Year 2018/19 — something the Library and Early Education Commission identified as their top priority.

"This is a BIG win for our community, educators, students and library system. Our goal is to ensure that San José youth experience greater access to Library materials and services that support their growth and learning."
—City Librarian, Jill Bourne.

When did this Fine Free Program go into effect?

The program went into effect on Thursday, July 5, 2018.

Children's and Young Adult materials checked out after July 5 are covered by the new guidelines and will not accrue fines, should they be returned late.

Note: If you have accrued late fines on Children's and Young Adult materials after July 1, 2018, please contact your local SJPL branch library for assistance before paying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing this?

What materials are fine free?

How is the pilot being funded, and will it impact the library's funding?

What if a customer already has fines on their account?

Will lost fees still be charged on Children's and Young Adult materials?

Are we worried about our collection being depleted?

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Before You Pay, Find a Different Way!

Do you still have fines that don't meet the requirements for this Fine Free Program? Take control and regain access to your library with our Fine Forgiveness Programs.


How about having the library open normal hours on Mondays instead?That would make the libraries actually useful on that day.Once again,no funding to have the libraries open longer.

I believe that people will taking advantage on this no late fee program due to Humanities.

A lot of tgtimes the kids arent the ones checking out the books,it is the parents

Regardless of whether an adult or the child is checking out books, shouldn't they learn the responsibility of following a deadline? Removing fines will only teach them that there's no consequences to be late, and be bad training and set up incorrect expectation for responsibilities later in life with homework, and as adults for work project due dates, credit card bills etc. If the adult's been the frequent late returner, she or he is setting a bad example to the kids.

Who comes up with these ideas? I disagree with this program and agree with Frank. Why not do away with late fees for everyone? Why just the children and teens? This is teaching them bad habits and poor life skills. How will they learn to pay bills on time and not incur a late fee? They WILL take advantage of this program. It is human nature. Personally, a late fee and deadline is a motivator for me to complete reading the books I check out and not procrastinate. This is another example of us teaching children there are no consequences to deadlines and rules and increasing their sense of entitlement and irresponsibility.

I agree. I have seen so many people try and get their fines removed from before july.

Borrowing items is free for everyone. There are no monetary barriers. The biggest barriers to "access" are the availability of materials and the limited hours of operation.

How do we teach kids responsibility from when they are young? We as parents give them tasks to complete, like doing your homework on time, doing your room, taking care of chores around the house, making sure to return your library books on time so that you don't get pinalized and have to pay for late fees. You have a great program for doing away with fees which is to volunteer. I'm doing that with my kids on 10/13/2018 to pay for late fees. That's the proper way of dealing with it, not writing it off as if it didn't happen. It teaches kids bad habits which will not help them when they get older.

Why aren’t the books taken and not returned? Would you send people to come for them. Otherwise I could just check out fifty books and not return them.

the books will still need to be returned, as stated in the above drop downs. There is still a fee for lost books, as well as a fee for books that are late past 28 days of their due date. if you do not return those books, there will still be a processing fee ($10), as well as any late payments that are from the extended late fee. It is not an unlimited amount of time that you can keep these books. This is just an extended due date for any children or young adults that have accidentally forgotten the due dates, or cannot make it to the library due to their own personal circumstances. Some children and teens do not have the resources to come to the library, and oftentimes, adults do have the time and the resources( Car, Bus, etc) to go the the library to return books. Hope this helped!

I actually like the fine free policy. My kids love reading and they check out so many books. I am very good in renewing items but sometimes because of school homework load and other school activities, we do miss the deadline renewal. Yes, it is a responsibility issue but mistakes do happen and its a relief to know that we are not paying huge fines for it. We do return the items as soon as its possible. For kids who just love to read, the library is a heaven and now they can relax and read all they want instead of always thinking we have to return the item as soon as possible. Thank you..

So if you lost your card it wil be free

Thanks for the change.

Hello everyone, just to clarify...there are $0 late fines on children's and teens' materials; however, there are fees involved if an item is not returned to the library. SJPL's goal is to tear down any barriers that may be keeping our youth from accessing their public library. Also, there are fine forgiveness programs ( available for people of all ages to take advantage of. Having fees on your library account should not be a reason to keep anyone away from their local temple of knowledge.

Great idea for busy parents!

I strongly disagree with the policy to waive fines for youth items. What is the lesson here? Shouldn't we be preparing them for personal responsibility? This is just a "feel good" measure that will have a negative long-term impact on our youth. If the child has a fine, let him/her earn the few dollars/cents the pay it off--that is the way to eliminate a barrier--not forgiveness of irresponsibility. Glad it is a "pilot program"--when will it end?

I think its great that there are no fees thanks!

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