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San Antonio Public Library will discontinue overdue fines for all patrons starting this Friday


The San Antonio Public Library will no longer charge fines for overdue materials starting October 1. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Public Library
  • The San Antonio Public Library will no longer charge fines for overdue materials starting October 1.
In a move to make its services more accessible, the San Antonio Public Library will stop charging overdue fines for materials returned late starting Friday, October 1.

The new policy is made possible through the adoption of the city's Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

“Libraries are for everyone,” SAPL Board of Trustees Chair Paul Stahl said in a statement announcing the change. “No one should be afraid to visit or use the services at their local library because they are worried about owing money if their book is returned late.”

The elimination of the fines expands a pilot program launched in 2019 that discontinued their use for overdue materials for children and teens.

“SAPL has made great strides over the years in making library services increasingly accessible for San Antonians,” SAPL Director Ramiro S. Salazar said in a statement. “Eliminating overdue fines is yet another example of the Library’s dedication to providing inclusive and equitable access to library services for everyone.”

Though the change won't eliminate existing fines, SAPL said patrons can make arrangements to pay those over an extended period, including through payment plans. As long as a library user makes regular payments toward their balance, their library privileges won't be suspended.

Residents can reach out to their branch library or call (210) 207-2500 for more information.

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