SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Public Library announced for the first time since 2009 that they will be providing amnesty for all overdue materials and fees from January 3, 2017 to February 14, 2017. The amnesty is provided through the library’s Fine Forgiveness Program, which was first announced in a news release on November 21.
The Fine Forgiveness Program is open to any returns, regardless of how long overdue the item is. The San Francisco Public Library stated, “Return your overdue items, clear your record and begin enjoying all of the fabulous resources that the Library has to offer!” The 6-week program applies to any overdue books and library items from all of the 27 libraries located within the San Francisco Public Library system.
The library is hosting this program to promote healthy circulation of the library’s materials, including CDs, DVDs, books and more. During the amnesty in 2009, the library received more than 30,000 overdue materials equating to $55,000 in value while also welcoming back thousands of community members into the library once again.
The amnesty program was first approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in November 2016. City Librarian Luis Herrera expressed the benefits of the program stating: “We are hoping that the Fine Forgiveness Program will be successful in helping us not only reduce outstanding fines but also bring back folks that we want to be able to use the library.”
“The Library projects the next fee amnesty program will recover a range of 9,459 items on the low end to 44,178 items on the high end for current numbers of items in an overdue and/or billed status,” stated a San Francisco Library Memo on September 15, 2016.
The SFPL states that they strive to promote connectedness by “eliminating barriers” by providing public services to everyone especially those who are “most in need.”