San Francisco Public Library eliminates overdue fines for fresh start

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It's a clean slate for anyone facing fines stemming from an overdue book from the San Francisco Public Library.

Starting Monday the library system is rolling out a new policy to eliminate all outstanding fines from the library's records. In addition, the library said all of its materials that are eligible to be renewed will be automatically renewed.

"This move ensures that our public library is living up to its commitment to provide free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community," the library system said on its website, adding, "You are fabulously fine free."

The fine elimination program was first adopted as part of an effort to welcome back the thousands of people who have stopped using the city's libraries.

The San Francisco Public Library said the system was owed more than $1.5 million dollars in old fines.

The Board of Supervisors approved the policy earlier this year, and the plan was adopted as part of the city budget signed by Mayor London Breed last month.

Library users will still have to pay for the replacement of any lost or damaged books or other material they've checked out.

A recent study by the library and the city treasurer's office found that eliminating overdue fines would increase access to materials and services, reduce inequity and increase staff efficiency.

San Francisco is one of a growing number of jurisdictions around the Bay Area to recently implement a plan to eliminate overdue fines. 

You can get more information about the city's new policy at

Bay City News contributed to this report.