Contra Costa County Library clears all outstanding fines

But, still turn in that overdue book, please

As part of the Contra Costa County Library’s continued efforts to improve access, balances on all library accounts have been cleared. This move goes hand-in-hand with the elimination of fines announced last month. As of January 1, 2019, all library cards are returned to good standing and patrons who may have been staying away from the library can come back and enjoy all the services the library has to offer. With accounts now cleared, the Library hopes to see patrons returning all the overdue items they were afraid to return due to fines.

“No matter how old, no matter why it was late, we want you to bring it back. No questions asked,” said County Librarian Melinda Cervantes.

Library staff will evaluate all returned items for relevance, condition and popularity so that materials may be reintroduced to the collection.

Patrons previously blocked from library services will once again be able to check out books, magazines and DVDs and use all the online services available through Moving forward, the Library will no longer charge daily overdue fines on library materials. Checkout periods will remain the same and charges for lost or damaged books will still apply.

“Yes, you still need to return library materials. That hasn’t changed,” said Deputy County Librarian Nancy Kreiser. “But when your schedule is hectic, or you need another day or two to finish a great book, you can do so without worrying about late fines.”

The elimination of fines and clearing of all accounts, helps to meet the Library’s goal of removing barriers to access and making it easy, equitable and enjoyable for everyone.

“These new policies introduce an ongoing amnesty,” said Cervantes. “It allows everyone regardless of age, location or ability to pay, the opportunity to have continued access to the library.”

For more information on the elimination of fines including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit

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