For Immediate Release: April 22, 2009
Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282 firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Your Excuse?
Overdue Fine Amnesty for Returned Materials
at S.F. Public Library, May 3-16
San Francisco Public Library is encouraging patrons to return their overdue books and other library materials and restore their borrowing privileges without penalty or fine during an amnesty period to be held May 3-16, 2009. Materials returned need to be in good condition.
The Library fee amnesty is authorized by a resolution submitted by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor David Chiu, amending the San Francisco Administrative Code to authorize the Library Commission to establish a Library fee amnesty program to take place during a two-week period. Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation Friday.
"The San Francisco Public Library is a great place to escape by reading books, listening to music and watching films; it is important that this luxury remains available to everyone. By instituting this amnesty period, we want to encourage people to return their overdue materials and enjoy all that the library has to offer," said Mayor Newsom.
The program, Free2Return, gives patrons the chance to return items without penalty and thus make more items available for public circulation again. Because patrons with a fine balance of more than $10 are prevented from borrowing Library materials, the amnesty restores borrower privileges to those patrons once they return their overdue materials. The amnesty does not include overdue fines still on record from previously returned or lost materials. The Library Commission approved the amnesty on March 5.
"This program is particularly important in the current, difficult economic climate. Overdue fines may pose an economic barrier to Library access for those patrons who could benefit the most from Library resources," said Deputy City Librarian Jill Bourne. "This will also promote the return of needed Library materials as well as increase library usage."
Fines will be waived on all returned materials, without restriction on how overdue the items are.
The last time San Francisco Public Library held an amnesty program was in 2001; at that time more than 5,000 items were returned with a total value of more than $100,000.
Overdue materials can be returned to any branch or the Main Library during the amnesty period. To encourage participation, the Library is asking, What's Your Excuse? Patrons are encouraged to share their cleverest excuses about why their materials are overdue at sfpl.org/fineamnesty. The best excuses will be highlighted on the Web site.
For more information on the library overdue materials amnesty, please call 415 557-4277.