Sonoma County Library

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Fines and fees

Effective September 15, 2012


The purpose of this policy is to establish clear and consistent fines and fees.


In general, access to Sonoma County Library’s services and collections is free of charge; however, fines and fees are charged to support excellent customer services by making the Library’s collection accessible and keeping it in good condition.

The Sonoma County Library establishes fines to encourage people to return circulating items to the Library when they are due.  Fees are collected when an item is damaged or lost to help pay for repair or replacement of an item.


  • Fines
    1. Fines are $0.25 per day on all items other than DVDs.
    2. Fines are $1.00 on DVDs.
    3. The maximum fine per item is $10.

  • Fees
    1. If an item is lost or damaged to the extent that it is unusable, a patron pays the price indicated on the Library’s records.
    2. The Library charges $10 for each cassette or CD that is missing from Books on CDs or Books on Cassette.
    3. For all other multiple piece items, patrons pay the full price of the item as indicated on the Library’s records.

  • Refunds
    1. Patrons who return items paid for as lost are given a refund within one year of payment.

  • Disposal of damaged items
    1. Patrons may keep a destroyed item if they pay for it.

  • Unpaid fines & fees
    1. A patron with more than $5 in fines and fees on their library card account is blocked from using the card until the amount owed is lower than $5.
    2. Billing notices are sent to patrons who have delinquent accounts that total more than $100.
    3. If the account is still delinquent thirty (30) day after a billing notice is sent, the Library forwards the account to its Collection Agency.  If the account is referred to the collection agency, the cardholder must pay a $10 service fee in addition to the amount owed on the account.

  • Waiving Fines & Fees
    Fines may be waived under the following circumstances:
    1. An inadvertent error in library routines.
    2. Unexpected library closure.
    3. A natural disaster  (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.)

  • Exemption from Fines & Fees
    1. Staff and volunteers are exempt from overdue fines.
    2. Members of the Library Commission are subjected to fines and fees.

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