Long Beach Public Library Offers Residents Overdue Fines Amnesty Opportunity

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The Long Beach Public Library will offer an Overdue Fines Amnesty Program during the month of April, to coincide with National Library Month. Fines will be forgiven for all overdue materials returned to the Long Beach Public Library.

“This amnesty program will encourage the return of overdue library materials, and restore library borrowing privileges to patrons whose overdue fines prevent them from accessing library services,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

Recovering overdue materials increases the availability of materials for circulation, and reduces material replacement costs. Similar amnesty programs across the United States recently have been very successful: the City of Chicago recently recovered 20,000 books; the City of Berkeley netted more than $30,000 worth of returned library materials.

“This is a unique opportunity for residents to reconnect with the library,” said Councilmember Roberto Uranga, who introduced the item for Council approval on March 8, 2016. “Long Beach has a world-class library system that offers something for everyone, whether residents want to register for an online class, earn a high school diploma, learn a new language or simply download a book by their favorite author.”

Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Rex Richardson co-sponsored the item, which was unanimously approved.

“April is National Library Month and this year libraries across the nation are celebrating how ‘Libraries Transform,’ ” said Glenda Williams, Director of Library Services. “What better way to celebrate this than offering an amnesty program to welcome back Long Beach residents who may have stopped using library resources.”

The Long Beach Public Library has approximately 15,800 library items that are overdue and not available for circulation, which represents approximately $267,932 in City property. Approximately 65 percent of these items are teen and juvenile materials. The decrease in revenue due to the amnesty program is expected to be fully offset by the recapture of a substantial amount of City property.

National Library Month is a great time to see what’s new at your local library. For more information about National Library Month and the Overdue Amnesty Program, visit www.lbpl.org or call 562.570.7500.

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