We Are Fine Free

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As of July 1, 2022, Signal Hill Public Library has eliminated fines for overdue books and materials. As of this date, past, present, and future overdue fines for materials will no longer be charged.

The burden of administrative fines and fees can create financial strain for low-income families and can contribute to a cycle of economic hardship. Recent actions statewide have brought to light the concept that administrative fees can have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable individuals, particularly youth, non-citizens, and people of color.

For these reasons, more and many libraries around the country—and the world—are eliminating fines. Signal Hill Public Library is happy to be a new member of fine free libraries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does going fine free also apply to overdue fines that were incurred prior to the motion on July 1, 2022?

  • Yes, the motion applies to all previously incurred overdue fines for books and materials, and other high-demand items.

What is the difference between a fine and a fee?    

  • Overdue fines are the daily charges applied to items not returned by their specified due date. These are the fines that will no longer be charged to library users. Fees represent the charges applied for lost or damaged materials and are still in effect.

Are fees still being charged at the Library?

  • Yes, fees will still apply to lost or damaged materials. In addition, fees will be incurred for services and products, including:
    • Library card replacements
    • Copying/printing
    • Interlibrary Loans (ILL)
    • Facility Room Rentals

Can I keep library materials indefinitely?

  • Patrons are encouraged to return materials in a timely fashion to the Library so others may enjoy these shared resources. Items not returned within 28 days of their due date will go to a “lost” status and patrons will be billed for their replacement. Patrons will continue to be responsible for reconciling any lost items or fees on their library account by either returning the item(s) or paying the replacement fee. Patrons with a billed status over $10 on their library account fall out of good standing.

What if I recently paid off a fine?

  • Fines paid are non-refundable. Please contact Reference Desk if you require further assistance.

Is there any way I can avoid paying a fine for a lost or damaged item?

  • The Great Read Away allows Library cardholders 18 and under to get rid of fees associated with lost or damaged books and materials by reading them away. For every hour spent reading, $5 in fees will be removed from your account. With The Great Read Away, the Library will waive lost and damaged material replacement fees.