Materials Recovery Program

Beginning February 1, 2019, the County of San Luis Obispo Public Library is eliminating overdue fines for materials returned after the due date. With this new policy, the Library expects to eliminate barriers to access allowing more of our community to fully utilize all of services the Library has to offer. Over 3 million items are borrowed each year from the Library and most are returned by the due date.


Overdue Material Policy

The Library encourages library patrons to return items on time so that others may use them. Under this new policy, items can be checked out for their standard loan period and, if eligible, renewed up to five times. To ensure that materials are returned in a timely manner, the Library has established a Materials Recovery Program.

As a courtesy, the Library will email or text a reminder 2 days before the due date.


What happens when your items are:


  3 Days Past Due  - The Library sends you a courtesy reminder.


10 Days Past Due  - The Library sends you a second courtesy reminder.


17 Days Past Due  - The Library sends you a third courtesy reminder “FINAL NOTICE.”


30 Days Past Due  - The Library sends a replacement bill. If you return the item in good condition, the replacement fee will be waived.


63 Days Past Due  - The Library forwards your account to a collection agency.  A non-refundable $10 service charge is added to your account.
The collection agency will contact you regarding return of materials and/orpayment.

Materials Recovery FAQ

The policy goes into effect on February 1, 2019.

Yes. If you are a County of San Luis Obispo Library cardholder we will remove past overdue fines from your account upon request.

The County of San Luis Obispo Libraries will not charge an overdue fine for any materials returned to our libraries. However, any materials returned to other Black Gold libraries may be subject to any overdue fines that library charges.

Yes. Upon request the County of SLO Libraries will waive any overdue fines incurred by returning materials to other Black Gold libraries for County of SLO library cardholders. We are unable to waive overdue fines for library card holders of other library systems.

No. Items that are lost, returned with damaged or missing parts, or otherwise are not returned in the same condition as when they were checked out will be billed accordingly.

Yes. You will receive a courtesy notice 2 days before an item is due by email or text. You will also receive overdue notices 3 days past the due date, 10 days past the due date, and 24 days past the due date. If an item is 42 days past due the item will be assumed lost and the Library will send a replacement bill.

If you return an item that is damaged and can no longer be used, the item will be marked damaged and you will receive a bill for the replacement cost of the item.

No. Replacement costs must be paid for each lost or damaged item. We do not accept replacement items in lieu of payment.

In the interest of service, equity, and access we ask that you return your items on time. We do want all items back and other people may be waiting. The materials’ policy states how accounts are handled in time and status. If you repeatedly do not return materials within the allotted time, we may temporarily suspend your account for up to 6 months or limit the number of items you can have checked out to five items. When your account is suspended you cannot check out physical materials like books or DVDs or access some of our digital services until your overdue items are returned.