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We Have Eliminated Overdue Fines

Why did the Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) eliminate fines?

Our mission is to provide access to the public libraries in the communities we serve. By eliminating overdue fines, more people can use library materials and services without the fear of incurring fines they can’t afford to pay. Additionally, library card holders benefit from access to digital resources for learning, research or entertainment. Best of all, digital materials return automatically when they are due.

What is changing for customers?

You will no longer receive a daily fine on late items. Everything else remains the same.

What if I see charges on my account?

You are still responsible for returning your item(s)! The library will send you a series of reminders for overdue items. After 30 days, any item(s) not returned will be declared lost, and you will be billed for them. We refer customer accounts to collections if the total bill is more than $50 for more than 60 days. Customers who return items after being in collections may not be charged for the item(s), and will still have to pay the $15 collection fee.

Reminder Notification Schedule
Three days before item is due Courtesy email
1 day overdue First overdue notice
10 days overdue Second overdue notice
21 days overdue Third overdue notice
31 days overdue, item declared lost Billing notice
Will people return items if there are no overdue fines?

Public libraries across the country have seen an increase in return rates after eliminating overdue fines. Customers receive several reminders before they are billed for lost items.

What will happen to MCLD’s annual Food for Fines program?

MCLD will continue to hold a summer food drive to help our local food banks.

I have always considered my overdue fines as a donation to the library. How can I donate now?

You can donate to the Maricopa County Library District by mailing a check to 2700 N. Central Ave, Suite 700, Phoenix 85004, or drop it off at your closest library.

What should I do if I see an overdue fine on my account?

If you see an overdue fine on your account, please notify a library staff member.

Does the Maricopa County Library District still charge fees?

Customers who borrow materials from MCLD libraries are subject to our fee schedule.

I haven’t been to the library in years. Will my card still work?

Your library card may have expired if you haven’t used it in more than one year. You can try to renew your library card online if your home or property address hasn’t changed, but you may need to renew or register for a new card in person.

How do I get a Library Card?

To get a new library card, you must come into one of our libraries in person. You’ll need photo identification, and proof of Maricopa County or Town of Queen Creek residence, business ownership, or property ownership.

Upon registration, customers are issued a permanent borrower card. By accepting the card, the customer agrees to follow all Maricopa County Library District policies and regulations.

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