While overdue fines were eliminated effective July 1, 2021, the following fees remain in place, including:
Materials which are not returned by 42 days (6 weeks) after the due date will be considered lost and replacement, processing, and recovery fees will apply.
Items may be renewed three times, with the exception of items on educator or student accounts. Customers may renew in person, by contacting a branch, calling the telephone accounts system (703.746.1794) or by accessing their account online. Items on hold for other customers cannot be renewed. Customers with blocked accounts are unable to renew items.
Items are due before 10am on the day following the due date. Renewals may be made online until 11:59 pm on the due date. Items received through a book drop when the library is closed will be marked as received on the last business day the library was open. While overdue fines have been eliminated, materials which are not returned by 42 days (6 weeks) after the final due date will be considered lost and replacement, processing, and recovery fees will apply.
The Library offers several services to customers for a small fee.
All accounts with unpaid fees totaling $35 or more for 60 days are forwarded to the library’s recovery service for collection of delinquent accounts. A non-negotiable referral fee of $10 is added to each delinquent account. Balances can be paid with cash, check, or credit card at any checkout desk or online via SmartPay with a credit card. Balances must be paid in full to resume use of the Library card account.
Alexandria City Council voted to eliminate all Overdue Fines effective July 1, 2021 by adding funds to the Library’s budget to offset the annual revenue formerly raised by collecting overdue fines.
The American Library Association passed the Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity, 2018-2019 ALA CD#38 (Rev. 127).
It recognizes that overdue fines are a disproportionate burden to customers of lower socio-economic status which often encompasses the Black, Indigenous, People-of-Color (BIPOC) populations. The inability to pay overdue fines hinders the ability to borrow materials that support educational, vocational, and entertainment needs. With the vote to remove overdue fines, Alexandria’s City Council, and later the Alexandria Library Board, acknowledged that all residents should have access to library materials without the financial barriers of accruing daily overdue fines. Libraries throughout the Metro area have joined public libraries across the nation in removing the barrier of overdue fines.
Q: What does this mean for my library card account?
Effective July 1, 2021, Alexandria Library will no longer charge overdue fines (late fines) on materials you borrow and all existing overdue fines will be removed from your account. With the exception of Interlibrary Loan materials borrowed from libraries outside of Alexandria Library, you will no longer receive daily accruing overdue or late fines on materials that are not returned by their due dates.
However, you are still obligated to return borrowed materials to the Library. Despite not accruing daily overdue fines, materials which are not returned by 42 days (6 weeks) after the due date will be considered lost and replacement, processing, and recovery fees will apply.
Q: If the Library has gone fine free, why do I still have a balance on my account?
While overdue fines (or late fines) have been eliminated and removed from all accounts, different types of charges or fees will continue to apply to accounts. These include:
Overdue items that are not returned by 42 days (6 weeks) after the due date will be considered lost and the appropriate fees will be added to the account. All accounts with unpaid fees totaling $35 or more for 60 days are forwarded to the Library's recovery service vendor. A non-negotiable referral fee of $10 is added to each delinquent account.
Balances can be paid by cash, check, or credit card at any checkout desk or with a credit card online via SmartPay. Balances must be paid in full to resume use of the library card account. Delinquent accounts will result in the inability to borrow more items until account fees are paid and/or materials are returned in good condition.
Q: When will I receive notices about my due dates and account?
Ample notices are sent to ensure customers are aware of due dates, auto-renewal status, overdue status, and lost status, if applicable. Specifically, Alexandria Library sends the following notices as an account progresses to the lost status:
Failure to receive library notices does not exempt the customer from any fees incurred.