What is your new policy on Late Fines?


Say Goodbye To Late Fines

Starting October 5, 2021, Queens Public Library no longer charges daily late fines on overdue materials, and existing late fines have been removed from all customers’ accounts.

We will charge you for the replacement cost of items that are considered lost or damaged, but as soon as you return the items, the replacement charges will be cleared. If you cannot return the items, please pay the replacement fee, or contact our staff about other options online here, by phone at 718-990-0771 or at your local library.

What will happen to my existing late fines and other fees?
As of October 5, 2021, we have erased all previously accrued late fines on all customers’ accounts, as well as collection fees, processing fees, and fees on requests not picked up. 
Fees for lost or damaged  items remain on your account but will be removed when you bring those items back. If you have questions about your account, please call our automated library line at 718-990-8508 or visit here

Why is QPL eliminating late fines?
We want to make sure everyone can use the Library’s resources, no matter their circumstances. For many individuals and families, late fines discourage use of the Library and are a barrier to access. 

Are the Brooklyn and New York Public library systems eliminating late fines?
Yes. All New York City library systems have eliminated late fines as of October 5, 2021.

May I keep library materials indefinitely? What if I lose them?
We do want library materials back! Please return materials by their due dates so others can enjoy these shared resources. We do not charge late fines, but items not returned within 28 days (four weeks) of their due dates will be considered lost, and you will be billed for the replacement cost. 

If you return the lost items, the replacement charges will be cleared from your account. Please return any items you have, no matter how long overdue they are. If you have a balance of over $50 or more on your account, or have 20 or more items overdue, you will not be able to place holds or check out physical materials until you have returned your lost items or paid the replacement fees. For more about our replacement policies, visit our Guide to Fees page

If you are unable to pay the replacement charges for an item, please contact us at 718-990-0771, visit your local library, or visit here to discuss your options.

How can I make a payment on my account?
You can make a payment online through My Account or visit your local library. 

What happens if the charges aren’t paid?
Once your balance reaches $50 or more on your account, or you have more than 20 items overdue, you will not be able to place holds or check out physical materials until you have returned your lost items or paid the replacement fees. In the future, accounts for customers ages 18 and older with an unpaid balance of $50 or more will also be submitted to QPL’s vendor, Unique Management Services, who will contact you on our behalf about making payment arrangements or returning overdue items. Your balance will not be reported to credit bureaus or affect your credit score. 

Will the Library still charge a fee for each day requested books or other items are not picked up?
No. The Library is eliminating the fee for requested items not picked up.   

What types of fees are being charged at the Library?
Replacement fees apply to lost or damaged materials. In addition, fees will be charged for:
Library card replacement ($2) 
Returned checks ($25)
Cost of lost items, such as technology accessories
Out-of-state card registration ($50)

How will these decisions impact the Library’s budget?
The Library decided to suspend late fines temporarily in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Annual late fines revenue, which comprises a small fraction of the Library’s budget, has declined over time, and we have found ways to absorb the foregone revenue. More importantly, eliminating late fines advances the Library’s core mission to ensure free and equitable access to learning and opportunity for all, no matter their circumstances.

But I like paying overdue fines because I feel as if I’m supporting the Library. How else can I support QPL?
If you would like to support the Library, we welcome donations to the Queens Public Library Foundation, which raises money to support Library programs, services, and collections. Visit here.

Is the “Read Down Your Fees” program still available?
Yes. Learn more about this program for customers 21 years and younger here.

Print a copy of these FAQS here

  • Last Updated Nov 07, 2023
  • Views 123
  • Answered By Lianna Kelly

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