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.

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.

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.

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