Your library membership is freedom to explore, learn and connect. Late fines shouldn’t get in your way.

On July 13, we stopped charging for overdue items and eliminated existing late fines. Through our conversations with you, we learned that late fines keep you from using the library. Burnaby is a stronger community when everyone can freely access resources and information, at every stage of life. Let’s say goodbye to late fines, and say hello to stories, ideas, curiosity. Hello library!

Have other libraries eliminated late fines?

Burnaby Public Library is one of the first libraries in Metro Vancouver to eliminate fines for overdue materials. North Vancouver City Library eliminated late fines in May 2020, and other cities in Western Canada that have done so include Creston, Smithers, Whistler, Calgary and Edmonton.

How will eliminating fines impact the library?

In our research of over 25 libraries that eliminated late fines, we learned that:

  • People who stopped using the library because of late fines returned,
  • There was no significant changes in the return rate of borrowed material,
  • There was an increase in library users.

Won’t the library lose money from eliminating late fines?

City Council approved a small increase in the 2020 library budget to eliminate late fines. Late fines have been steadily decreasing over the past few years. The cost is small compared to the fact that we were losing many patrons due to late fines.

But I’d like to support the library by paying my fines!

Thank you for supporting us! If you'd like to contribute to Burnaby Public Library, you can donate online or at any of our branches.

What happens if I don’t return my items on time?

Although we aren’t charging late fines, we do want our items back! You’ll be notified when an item becomes overdue and you can continue to borrow items up to 28 days after the due date.

If you have an item overdue for more than 28 days, your account will be temporarily blocked from borrowing and a replacement fee will be added to your account. Once the overdue item is returned, you can borrow items again, the replacement fee will be removed and no late fines will be charged.

You’ll still be able to use our public computers and online databases if you have overdue items on your account.

Will I still have to pay for other fees?

If you're unable to return an overdue item or an item is returned damaged, there is a replacement fee. There are still late fines and replacements fees for lost or damaged items borrowed from other libraries (interlibrary loans).

We understand that unexpected things can happen that might result in library items being lost or damaged. Please talk to us and we can let you know your options.