Fines and Fees

Does the library still charge fines for overdue items?


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Effective July 1, 2021, Thousand Oaks Library will stop charging overdue fines. This move ensures that our library is living up to its commitment to inspire, inform, and engage our community. However, patrons remain responsible for fees charged for lost and damaged items. These charges cover the replacement cost of the item and a processing fee.

Fine Free FAQ

What does Fine Free mean?

Outstanding overdue fines that existed prior to July 2021 were forgiven so that patrons could receive a fresh beginning. We invite patrons who stopped going to the library due to overdue fines to return and enjoy our library materials and services. We also hope that anyone who has books or other materials that were billed as lost items, returns them to the library. If lost items are returned, the replacement fee and processing charge will be waived from the patron account.

Please note that the library will still continue to charge for lost or damaged items and processing fees, but will discontinue the use of overdue fines.

Why are you removing overdue fines?

Research we conducted found that the elimination of overdue fines in libraries had several positive outcomes:

  • Increased access to materials and services
  • Reduction of inequities resulting from overdue fines, especially for children
  • Improved customer relationships with the library
  • Increased staff time and efficiency

What is the difference between a fine and a fee?

Overdue fines are the daily charges applied to items not returned by their specified due date. These are the fines that will no longer be charged to patrons. Billed-item fees, or just fees, represent the charges applied for lost, damaged, or unreturned materials and the processing fees are still in effect. In addition, fees are still charged for library services and products such as replacing a lost library card, copying, and printing.

How will the Library encourage people to return overdue items?

Patrons are encouraged to return materials in a timely fashion to the Library so others may enjoy these shared resources. Depending on the items, items not returned within 4 or 10 days of their due date will go to billed status, and patrons will be billed for the item’s replacement cost plus a $3 processing fee. The account will be blocked with any billed items or fines over $20.

Patrons will continue to be responsible for reconciling any lost items or fees on their library account by either returning the items or paying the replacement fee. Accounts with $20 or more in fees will not be allowed checkout privileges, and cannot place holds.

How can I pay for my fees?

Patrons have three options to pay for their lost items:

  1. Online on My Account
  2. In person at Grant R. Brimhall Library or Newbury Park Library
  3. Mail a payment check to the Thousand Oaks Library

Will I still receive emails and phone calls when an item is overdue?

Yes. Patrons will continue to receive overdue notices via emails, text, or phone call reminders for overdue items. To change your notice preference, log into My Account, click the Edit account button to pull up the Modify Patron Information window, and select the form of notice.

Any items checked out starting June 10, 2021 that are eligible for renewal will be automatically renewed for you. For more information on the auto renewal process, visit Ask-a-Librarian Q&A section.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

  • Ask us via SMS - Text your question to (805) 253-2906. Text the word HOURS to get the Library's hours of operation.

  • Submit your questions via email - Submit your questions using a question form or email us at

  • Ask us by phone - Call us at (805) 449-2660 option 5. We will answer your question Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Last Updated Oct 22, 2023
  • Views 22
  • Answered By JB

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