Library fines go up November 1

The Seattle Public Library will raise fines and fees on Nov. 1, to help offset budget cuts.

  • The daily fine for an overdue book, CD, or DVD will change from 15 cents a day to 25 cents a day. Maximum per item late fee: $8.
  • The daily fine for an overdue interlibrary loan (an item borrowed from outside The Seattle Public Library) will change from 25 cents a day to $1 a day. Maximum per item late fee: $15.
  • The daily fine for an overdue reference resource will change from 15 cents a day to $1 a day. Maximum per item late fee: $15.
  • The charge to print from Library computers will change from 10 cents to 15 cents per page.

The library will also send all accounts with a balance of $25 or more to a collection agency, and it will add a $12 charge when the account is sent to collections. For library account holders who are 12 or under, their parents will be notified when accounts becomes delinquent.


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JM98107
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JM98107

A lot of the libraries have become “urban rest stops”, maybe they should also charge rent to the people sleeping at the tables.

Scott
Guest
Scott

So now libraries are going to attempt to fee themselves into prosperity? Government: they have what it takes to take what it is we have. The more a government does for you the more it does to you. What’s it gonna take for many in Western, WA to wake up and smell the coffee? This is incrementalism at it’s best. Car tabs going up in May too. Why not make that new fee $100 and make the min. wage $25/hr? Then we’ll really feel good about the coming utopia. Got monopoly? Yup.

Phinney
Guest
Phinney

If you return your library materials on time then you have no issues with the late fee. Ok so think about it, you pay your taxes every year, a very small percentage goes to the library. You check out a few books and DVD’s each year. That book could cost $25 from a store and the DVD rental could be about $3. You read the book once and shelve it or drop it at Goodwill, that’s $25 spent for one use. That DVD late return fee is about $1/day from the corner store, unless you use Netflix ($8.99/month).
When you think about it you spend considerably more money to buy or rent materials than you would by using your local library.
The late fine is more of an urge to get patrons to return their items on time so that others who also pay taxes and use the library can use those materials in a timely manner. I think the library would much rather get materials returned on time than to charge late fees.
That’s just my .02 worth on this subject.

SurlyAF
Member
SurlyAF

Just return your library items on time so more people can enjoy the media. If you can’t return on time, then pay the fee, and move on. Do you really think that the cost of library staff wages, utilities, transportation and the general costs of operating a library system will never increase?

If you are not happy with the way the government runs, then work to get measures on the ballot to remove some of these services you deem unnecessary or wasteful.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Yes, the previous fines were so trivial that there was no real incentive to return items on time. Especially for $50 computer books, having to pay a dollar or two for keeping it for an extra couple of weeks seemed trivial. I’m not sure the 25 cent per day fine will help much on that; I’d like to see a $0.50 or $1 per day fine for books that cost $45 or more.

Juliana
Guest
Juliana

For a long time Seattle library fines didn’t even go to the library (just to the city’s general fund), so the library never bothered to raise them — through a number of years of high inflation, overdue fees stayed at five cents a day. Twenty-five cents a day now is less than five cents a day was in the 1960s.