For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Fines Temporarily Reduced by Fifty Percent

Between June 17 and July 15, 2004, the Free Library of Philadelphia is offering all adult customers the opportunity to return overdue materials and receive a 50% discount off fines and fees prior to the new fine increase, effective July 15, 2004. Children and young adults participating in the annual Summer Reading Program will have all overdue fines expunged from their records.

More than 80,000 books, videos and DVDs, cassettes and CDs, pamphlets and periodicals are currently 90 days or more overdue. The Free Library of Philadelphia faces continued funding cutbacks from the fiscal 2004 State budget and a very tight City budget. The result is fewer books and fewer staff. Library President and Director Elliot L. Shelkrot states, "Our goal is to provide the books and recorded ideas that Philadelphians need and want. Increased fines will get books back faster so others can use them, and at the same time, help support the costs of quality library services for all."

The Board of Trustees approved a plan to increase fines for overdue items. The new daily fines will be 50 cents per day, for overdue adult hardback and paperback books, music CDs, and pamphlets and periodicals; $1.00 per day for books on tape and CDs; $4.00 per day for videos and DVDs; and $2.00 per day for Interlibrary Loan materials. The new daily fines will be 10 cents per day, for overdue children's hardback and paperback books, books on tape, music CDs, pamphlets and periodicals. Children's videos and DVDs will be $2.00 per day; parent packets and similar items and Interlibrary Loan materials will be $2.00 per day.

The Library is producing posters and flyers announcing these changes for distribution to branches and recreation centers. Library customers can return materials and pay discounted fines at any Free Library branch or call General Information for assistance at 215.686.5322.

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Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850