New year, new policy: St. Louis City, County Libraries no longer charging late fees

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ST. LOUIS – It’s been library tradition for decades that library users get charged a small fine each day for overdue materials but for St. Louis library patrons late fees are a thing of the past.

Directors at both St. Louis County Library and St. Louis Public Library will announce Tuesday, January 7  that they are eliminating late fees on late materials beginning in the new year.

With this effort, patrons will receive an email reminder to return their item two days prior to the book being due. Additional reminders will be made once that item is a steady pass due.  After 42 days, the item is considered lost and the patron will be charged for the price of the book. If the patron returns that item, then all will be forgiven, and they can check out another one.

In the city, all past overdue fines will be forgiven. In the county, patrons will need to pay off 2019 fines.

The new policy goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

St. Louis Library Director and CEO believe that eliminating fines will support literacy efforts and allow patrons greater access to all of the resources available at the library.

To learn more about borrowing at SLCL/SLPL visit

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