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Library writes ‘The End’ to fines on overdue books

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Public Library will no longer charge fines on overdue materials.

Mayor Lyda Krewson attended a press conference Tuesday at the Central Library, 1301 Olive St.

“Reading has the unique ability to inform, illuminate and inspire,” Krewson said. “It’s important that we make our great libraries as accessible as possible to the community. I am grateful to our two incredible library systems for collaborating together to do just that and go fine-free.”

The St. Louis County Library system is also dropping its charges.

Cardholders will still be responsible for returning items and paying for any lost or damaged materials.

St. Louis Public Library CEO Waller McGuire said, “Public libraries provide vital resources and life enrichment throughout our communities. Individuals, families, businesses, adults, children —the world comes through our doors and networks. Our boards voted to open more doors by eliminating fines. It is a wonderful gift for St. Louis and a great step forward for the region.”

The Board of Trustees for both libraries approved the elimination of fines. Revenue attributed to fines at both library systems has fallen steadily in recent years.

A number of other library systems across the country, including the Chicago Public Library, have eliminated such fines.

St. Louis Public Library patrons will still receive notices when items are due, and again if items are not returned. After 42 days, unreturned items will be considered lost, and customers will be responsible for those items.

To learn more about borrowing at St. Louis Public Library, visit

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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