The Santa Barbara Public Library will forgive outstanding fines and fees on accounts as it transitions to a new catalog system.
“Many of these outstanding fines and fees are more than four years old, and many are simply overdue fines for a couple of items that together exceed the $10 limit,” Jessica Cadiente, the library director, said. “Giving community members a fresh start as we migrate accounts to a new catalog system allows them the opportunity to return to the library and is in line with the library’s mission of reducing barriers to access.”
Patrons who had blocked accounts due to fines will have a “clean slate” after April 15.
The library discontinued charging late fees on overdue material in 2019, but existing fees and fines remained on patrons’ accounts. Before then, patrons could accrue up to $25 in fees before they were prohibited from checking out materials. The limit was later reduced to $10 once late fees were eliminated.
The library will still charge replacement costs if items are not returned within 30 days of a due date. The replacement cost will be waived if a customer returns an overdue item before 60 days.
On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council approved the contract for renovations to the Central Library.
“Every time I go there, it has something new and relevant and progressive for everyone,” Councilmember Kristen Sneddon remarked during the meeting.