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LOAN PERIODS, CHARGES & FEES


While all of the Library’s programs and most of our services are free, charges are required for certain services or the replacement of lost items.

Fees are calculated by type of material borrowed, regardless of whether the customer is an adult or a child. The Library will send out reminder emails and phone calls for accounts but these are courtesy reminders. All fees and items on an account are the responsibility of the account holder. Failure to receive library notices does not exempt the user from fees incurred.

Customers may pay for fees with cash, personal check, or a credit card at any Circulation Desk or by credit card online.

Fines for overdue Library materials were eliminated on July 1, 2021 and have been removed from all library accounts.

Beginning January 1, 2022, the Library will resume the process of referring all accounts which have lost or unreturned materials for 60 days or more to a materials recovery service. Please return any library materials by that date to avoid charges to your account.

 

PAY ONLINE

     

 

Pay Now

 

FEES V. FINES

While overdue fines were eliminated effective July 1, 2021, the following fees remain in place, including:

  • Replacement cost fee
  • Processing fee
  • Referral fee for recovery of delinquent accounts

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.

LOAN PERIODS

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.

  Item

  Loan Period

  Limit

  Renewal

  Books
  21 days
  100
  3
  Audiobooks
  21 Days
  20
  3
  CDs
  21 Days
  20
  3
  Periodicals
  21 days
  20
  3
  Thermal Camera
  14 days
  1
  1
  Hot Spot
  14 days
  0
  1
  DVDs
  7 days
  20
  3
  STATE PARK PASS
  7 DAYS
  1 
  1
  Toys & Games **
  7 days
  10
  0
  Kill-A-Watt Meter **
  7 days
  10
  0
  Interlibrary Loan
  varies
  5 
  varies
  CHROMEBOOKS
  21 days
  3
  3

 

*The maximum number of checkouts is 100 items per patron.  A Library card account will be blocked if estimated total fees exceed $25.

** These items may not be renewed.  

Please note that Alexandria Library is not responsible for equipment damage that may result from use of its audiovisual material or thermal cameras. 

 

INTERLIBRARY LOANS

  • Interlibrary Loan Materials (ILL) may still accrue overdue or late fines.  ILL items are not owned by Alexandria Library and are borrowed from other participating academic, public, or special libraries outside of the Alexandria Library System on behalf of our customers.  When returned late or lost, customers are required to pay the fines/fees charged by the lending organization.
  • Loan periods vary on ILL materials based on the loan period extended by the lending library.  There is a limit of 5 ILL items and the ability to renew is based on the policy of the lending library.
  • There is a $5 non-refundable fee per ILL request.

SERVICE  CHARGES

The Library offers several services to customers for a small fee.

  Item

  Charge

  6 Month Temporary Resident Card Fee (non-refundable)   $10.00
  Interlibrary Loan Request   $5.00
  Returned Check Fee   $25.00
  Notary Public Service (Law Library only)   $5.00 per signature
  Photocopy (any size paper) or Computer Printout    $0.25 per printed side of paper
  Scanning (email/USB)    Free
  Passports    Fees vary. Please see Passports page for details.

MERCHANDISE

  Item

  Charge

  All Library Book Sale Items   $2.00
  Ear Buds   $3.00
  Friends of the Library Tote Bag   $3.00
  Library Tote Bag   $4.00
  Umbrella   $15.00
  USB Drive   $8.00

LOST OR DAMAGED ITEM FEES

  Item

  Charge

  Print Materials   Cost of item
  Processing Fee For Lost or Damaged Items   $5.00
  Referral Fee For Delinquent Accounts   $10.00
 Audiovisual Items (WonderBooks/Vox Books/Playaway Devices)*   $15.00 per disc or cost of item
  Library Card   $2.00
  Barcode   $1.00
  CD & Audiobook Cases   $1.50
  DVD (single disc case)   $1.50
  DVD (multiple disc case)   $3.00
  Plastic Bag   $1.00
  RFID Sensor Tag   $1.00
  Thermal Cameras   $250.00
  Thermal Camera USB Cable   $5.00
  Thermal Camera Extender   $10.00
  Thermal Camera Case   $25.00
  Thermal Camera Library Bag   $4.00
  Hot Spot Device   $25.00
  Hot Spot Case   $5.00
  Hot Spot Charging Cable   $5.00
  Hot Spot Adaptor   $5.00
  Hot Spot Bag   $1.00
  Chromebook   $50.00
  Chromebook Charging Cable   $10.00
  Chromebook Case   $5.00
  Park Backpacks   $15.00 (materials) / $15.00 (backpack)
  VA State Park Passes   $71.00 ($66 + $5 processing fee)
  American Girl Dolls   $115 (doll) / $35 (carry backpack) / $8 (brush) / $5 (diary) / $40 or $24 (day set or night set accessories)
  Kill a Watt   $30 ($25.00 + $5 processing fee)


Items are considered lost if not returned by 42 days (6 weeks) after the final due date. Borrowers are also responsible for the replacement cost of Library materials that are damaged and not returned in good condition. Once the Library receives payment for a lost or damaged item, the item becomes the property of the customer. If lost items are returned in good condition within 30 days of paying replacement cost, the customer will receive a refund of that fee minus the $5.00 processing charge per item. This excludes magazines, leased materials, thermal cameras, electronic players/devices, toys /games and Audiovisual materials. These items cannot be replaced and may not become the property of the customer when a replacement fee is paid. Leased materials may not be replaced and do not become the property of the customer after lost or damaged fees are paid.

Alexandria Library does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged items. If an item is returned missing one or more pieces, Library staff will try to contact customers through provided account information. If the problem has not been resolved within 14 business days of the return of the item, the customer will be charged the item fees listed above. If no replacement item is available from the Library’s vendors, the library will charge the customer the replacement fee for the full set. No fee adjustments or refunds will be offered for materials returned after the 14-day period.

DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS


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.

 

FINE FREE F.A.Q.


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.

Q: Why?

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:

  • Replacement cost fee
  • Processing fee
  • Referral fee for recovery of delinquent accounts

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:

  • 3 days prior to the due-date
  • On the due-date
  • 7 Days after the due-date
  • 14 Days after the Due-Date
  • 42 Days (6 Weeks) after the Due-Date

Failure to receive library notices does not exempt the customer from any fees incurred.

Last updated: February 2022