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

Free Library of Philadelphia Board of Trustees Votes to Eliminate Overdue Fines on Materials

PHILADELPHIA, December 11, 2019— Today the Free Library of Philadelphia Board of Trustees approved a measure that will eliminate most overdue fines throughout the Library system at a date to be determined.

“We are delighted to be able to join many libraries across the country in removing overdue materials fines as a barrier for customers. We look forward to welcoming back many customers and long-missing materials in the near future. I want to thank Councilmember Cherelle Parker and Mayor Jim Kenney for extending their support for this measure and welcome them as partners as we become one of the largest library systems in the country to eliminate this penalty,” said Board of Trustees Chair Pamela Dembe.

The policy voted approved by the Board of Trustees states:

Effective at a date to be determined:

The Free Library of Philadelphia does not charge fines for most overdue materials. There are fees for items that are lost or destroyed. The fees are the cost of the item, as listed in the catalog. The Library also accepts new or gently used copies of lost or destroyed material as replacement in lieu of payment. If lost materials are returned or replaced, there is no penalty. The language of this policy supersedes that of existing policies.”

The Free Library of Philadelphia will remain under the current fine policy until training for staff and technical and logistical implementation can be completed.


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