Overdue fees are now a thing of the past at the Santa Barbara Public Library.
The elimination of overdue fines for library materials was voted on earlier this month by the Santa Barbara City Council and follows a move by dozens of other libraries not only in California but also nationwide, according to library officials.
“Santa Barbara Public Library’s mission is to best serve its community and provide equitable access to all, and overdue fines were in opposition to this goal,” Library Director Jessica Cadiente said in a press release. “Eliminating fines eliminates barriers to use, and we want everyone to feel confident and welcome to use the Santa Barbara Public Library.”
If materials are missing for 30 days beyond the due date, the cardholder will be charged a replacement fee; however, the fee will be waived if the item is returned in good condition before 60 days, according to the library.
Currently, items that have been checked out can be automatically renewed five times unless someone else is waiting for them.
Updates on the status of library items can be received via email or text.
The library says fine revenue represented less than 1 percent of the library’s overall budget. “The amount of staff time required to collect fines exceeds revenue,” according to the library.
San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles libraries have also eliminated overdue fees.