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Library amnesty for overdue books in effect

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San Francisco Public Library. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

For the next six weeks, those with overdue San Francisco Public Library books can return them without having to pay the fines due.

The amnesty period, which began Tuesday and ends Feb. 14, is meant to encourage people to return their books and have their library privileges reinstated, as the San Francisco Examiner previously reported.

Library officials say there are 150,000 library users with some account balance, including 55,256 patrons who owe $10.01 or more and 29,554 patrons who have billed items on their accounts. After 60 days an overdue item becomes a billed item charged to the account and no longer accrues the 10-cents-a-day fee.

SEE RELATED: SF Library owed $4.5M in overdue fines; amnesty period proposed

Borrowing is suspended once a patron owes more than $10 in fines.

The library said in its announcement: “Recovering overdue materials increases the availability of materials for circulation and reduces replacement costs. During the last amnesty program in 2009, the library received more than 30,000 overdue items, waived $55,000 worth of fines and welcomed back thousands of patrons.”

The statement continues, “The program aligns with the library’s commitment to eliminating barriers to service and providing basic access for all San Franciscans, especially those most in need of library services.”

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