Yes. All late fines were forgiven when Houston City Council approved the ordinance change on January 11, 2023. To welcome all people back to the library, HPL is holding an amnesty period from January 17, 2023-February 18, 2023. During the amnesty period, anyone who visits the library will have their accounts cleared of any additional fees, giving all customers a fresh start. When you arrive at an HPL location, as ask a staff member to check your account, and they will help clear out any fees accrued.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) fines and fees still apply, as those are items belonging to other library systems, not HPL.
Fines are associated with overdue materials returned past their borrowed due date. Now that HPL is fine-free, fines will no longer be incurred.
Fees are associated with lost or damaged materials. Items are considered lost 30 days after the due date, and customers will still be responsible for any lost fees. If items are returned undamaged, there will be no fines and the lost charge will be removed.
Processing fees will still be charged for lost or damaged books moving forward. If the item is returned, then the processing fee would be waived.
Yes, HPL will still charge for lost or damaged books after the amnesty period ends. There will not be any fines so long as the item is returned undamaged.
We are holding an amnesty period from January 17, 2023-February 18, 2023, and if you come into the library during that time, and present your card to a staff member, we will clear any account to give library customers a fresh start. Effective February 19, 2023, customers will be responsible for fees related to lost/damaged library items.
We are holding an amnesty period from January 17, 2023-February 18, 2023, and it is not retroactive. Customers who paid for a lost/damaged book during the amnesty period who come into the library during the amnesty period with proof of payment may also be entitled to a refund.
Amnesty is offered only during the designated amnesty period (January 17-February 18, 2023). If a customer does not come into a library during this period, and present their card to a staff member, the lost fees will remain on the account. However, if the item is found and returned after the amnesty period, the lost fees are automatically removed and there will not be any overdue fines because of the new fine free policy.
Cards with unpaid fees totaling $25 or less can be used to borrow materials. Customers may log on to public computers regardless of the fees on their account.
Courtesy item notification emails are sent 3 days before the due date and after an item becomes overdue at both 3 and 14 days. The item is billed at 30 days overdue. Cardholders can edit their contact information by logging in to their account online
to ensure proper delivery of notifications.
Please speak with Ask HPL at 832-393-1313 to discuss options.
Anyone can use public computers and Wi-Fi, read books, do research, attend Library events, and use most of our online databases in-house without a Library Card.
The amount of revenue from fines is less than 1% of the Library’s budget.
Interlibrary loans are coming from other libraries that still charge fines and fees. These fines/fines will still be charged.