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  • FINE FREE LIBRARY

    The Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) announces a new Fine Free for All program which eliminates fines for overdue books and materials. Removing fines will give cardholders increased access to services, use of the library and its materials both virtually and at any of our locations.finefree_sticker

    When does the new Fine Free for All program go into effect?
    Beginning March 1, 2022, the Library will eliminate fines for overdue books and materials. This change is only for overdue fines. Charges related to lost or damaged materials will continue to apply.
     
    Why are fines being eliminated for overdue items?
    SMPL is joining a national movement of libraries working towards providing equitable access to all its patrons. We understand the strain that fines can have on our patrons, especially families experiencing financial challenges and individuals on fixed incomes. With the elimination of overdue fines, we hope to welcome back more patrons to use resources to improve their lives.

    How does the new Fine Free for All program work?
    Items (book, DVD, magazine, CD, etc.) returned late will not be charged overdue fines. However, if an item is overdue for 21 days or more it is considered lost. Accounts with lost items are charged and blocked until the item is returned or paid in full.

    What is the difference between a fine and a fee?
    Overdue fines are the daily charges applied to items not returned by their specified due date. Billed-item fees, or just fees, are charged for damaged, unreturned, or lost items, as well as processing fees. Library services such as replacement library cards, copying, printing, and inter-library loans are also considered fees.

    Damage to items include ink stains, water damage, removed labels, missing parts, torn pages, and other problems caused by improper care of library materials. Damaged items that require removal from the collection need to be paid for in full. Library staff may attempt to contact you by telephone or email regarding a problem with a returned item. It is your responsibility to ensure that the contact information on file is accurate. The replacement fee and processing fee must both be resolved for an item to be considered "paid for in full".

    Do fines prior to the Fine Free for All program still need to be paid?
    All overdue fines, including those prior to March 1, 2022, are being eliminated. If you still see a charge on your account that may be related to a lost or damaged item or inter-library loans. If you believe the charge on your account is an error, please contact us at library@santamonica.gov or 310-458-8600.

    What if I recently paid off a fine?
    Fines paid prior to March 1, 2022, are non-refundable. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us at library@santamonica.gov or 310-458-8600.

    Will my items still be eligible for renewal?
    Yes! If your account is in good standing and your item isn’t being requested by another patron, your item will be automatically renewed up to three times.

    Why am I still receiving reminders to return my items?
    Although fines are eliminated, you will continue to receive notifications when items are due in the following order:

    NOTICE WHEN
    Reminder 3 days before item is due.
    Auto renewal (if item isn’t being requested by another patron) 3 days before item is due.
    1 day, 7 days, and 
    14 days overdue
    The library sends an overdue notice as a courtesy. Cardholders are responsible for monitoring their accounts, even if they do not receive a notice
    21 days overdue Item is marked lost and a printed bill is mailed. Account is blocked until the issue is resolved.  
    39 days overdue Account is referred to Unique National Collections (UNC). They will be in contact about your delinquent account. A non-reversible $10 referral fee is added to the bill. Account remains blocked until any outstanding balance is paid in full.

    Important Update: Starting April 4th, 2022, items will be considered lost once they are three weeks overdue. Overdue notices will be generated beginning at one day overdue, then weekly for two weeks before being billed as lost. Please return your materials promptly so that others may use them. 

    Fees

    Members are responsible for returning items on time and monitoring their account. As a courtesy, the library provides a variety of notices to assist members. Library privileges are temporarily blocked if the account balance reaches $20 or more.

    Fees Table  
    Replacement Library Card $2 ($1 for Juvenile cards)
    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) $5 per request
    (plus lending library fees when applicable)
    Interlibrary Loans (Overdue Fines) $1 per item per day
    Copies/Prints  15¢ per B&W page
    50¢ per Color page
    Processing Fee $10.00 per item

    Payment Methods

    The Santa Monica Public Library offers convenient options for making payments on your library account. If you have questions about fines or fees listed on your account, please consult a library staff member before you submit a payment.

    Note: Credit Card Fee effective January 1, 2021
    The City of Santa Monica assesses a 2.95% convenience fee on most types of debit and credit card transactions (beginning January 1, 2021). The 2.95% fee will be reflected in the total cost billed. Refunds for credit/debit transactions do not include the convenience fee.

    Online

    Santa Monica Public Library offers a secure online payment service (“SmartPAY”) that allows you to view the outstanding charges on your library account and make real-time payments using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) or debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo. You will need your library card number and PIN to connect to the SmartPAY service. Once logged in, you will have the ability to pay off all outstanding charges or select specific charges to pay. Completed transactions will post to your credit card statement with the description “Cityofsm Libr Smartp.”

    In Person

    Payments for fees can be made at the Main Library, Montana Avenue Branch, and the Pico Branch during library open hours. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, U.S. Postal money order, credit card (2.95% fee) (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), or debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo.

    By Mail

    A check or U.S. Postal money order made payable to Santa Monica Public Library can be mailed to:

    Santa Monica Public Library
    ATTN: Circulation Supervisor
    601 Santa Monica Blvd
    Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Please write your library account number in the memo section of the check or money order.

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