Fines & Fees

The Bellingham Public Library assesses fines to the accounts of borrowers who do not return library materials on time. Borrowing privileges will be suspended for cardholders with fines and fees totaling $10.00 or more.

Pay Fines Online

Overdue Materials

There is a two-day grace period on all items. After the two-day grace period, adult library materials are charged an overdue fine of 25¢ per day until the maximum fine is reached. Children’s and teen materials do not accrue overdue fines.

Fines accumulate daily until the item is renewed, returned, reaches a maximum fine, or is declared lost by either the borrower or the Library. If an overdue item is successfully renewed, borrowers are responsible for the payment of any fines that accumulate while the item is overdue.

Library materials not returned within 60 days will automatically be considered “lost”, and the borrower will be charged the replacement cost for each item.

Expired Holds

There is a 50¢ charge to adults for holds not picked up after 8 days. Holds that have not been picked up after 8 days will expire and be re-shelved.  If you do not need an item that you have placed on hold, you may cancel it online or by phone.

Lost or Damaged Materials

Borrowers are responsible for the replacement costs of any lost or damaged materials. The library does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged items.

Lost Library Cards

A replacement fee of $1.00 will be charged for a lost library card. Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of any items checked out to their card before it is reported lost.

How to Make Payments

Payments for library fines and fees may be made in the following ways:

Online via the City of Bellingham Finance Department. Your library card number and PIN (usually the last 4 digits of you telephone number) are required to make online payments.

In Person with cash, check, debit or credit card at the Central, Fairhaven, or Barkley Library.

By Mail with check (please include your library card number on the memo line).

Bellingham Public Library
CS-9710
Bellingham, WA 98227-9710

Collection Agency and Payment Plans

The Library is obligated to attempt the recovery of all outstanding debt and/or library materials. Uncollected fines or fees of $50.00 or more are referred to Unique Management, a national collection agency that works with libraries to resolve outstanding balances and recover materials.

A non-negotiable collection fee will be applied to the account of any borrower who reaches this threshold.

Borrowers whose accounts have been sent to collection may establish a payment plan with the Bellingham Public Library. The payment plan will involve an initial payment, followed by regular installments, until the borrower’s account is paid in full.