Library Fines and Fees

To help ensure that materials are available for all, Salem Public Library charges fees for overdue, damaged and lost materials.​​ ​

Due dates

When items are checked out, you are given a printed slip that includes due date information. It is also possible to check due dates by:​

  • Visiting “My Account” in the Library’s catalog online
  • Stopping at the Check Out Desk
  • Calling TeleCirc at 503-589-7740

​Fines

Fines accrue from the first late day and each day after that if an item is not returned in 24 hours. Fines will continue to build up until the item is returned or renewed, or until the maximum fine level is reached.​

Sign up for email notifications​ to receive a courtesy reminder two days prior to an item's due date. You will also be notified five days after an item is due.

Patrons with fines totaling more than $25​ are not able to check out books until the fines are paid.

Overdue materials will be charged the following fines:

  • Children’s picture books: 15 cents per day with a maximum of $3.
  • Magazines: 25 cents per day with a maximum of $3.
  • All other items: 25 cents per day with a maximum of $5.

​Lost and damaged items

You are responsible for all items checked out to you.

​Damaged items

Library items should be returned in the condition in which they were checked out. If they are returned with major damage, you will be asked to pay the original cost of the item. Examples of major damage include:

  • Items are wet from water or drink damage
  • Chewed by a dog
  • Pages or pictures are cut out

Stolen or lost Items

If an item is stolen, you can check with your insurance provider to determine if your coverage includes the cost of the theft. Report the theft to the police. If you find it difficult to the pay the amount due in one payment, discuss a payment plan with the Patron Accounts staff.

The cost of a lost and paid item may be refundable if the item is returned in good condition. You will still be charged an overdue fine. Fines are not refundable. The Library does not accept the replacement of lost items unless a librarian has agreed to the exchange in advance.

If you believe you have returned an item that is still on your account please email splcirc@cityofsalem.net​ with the following information:

  • Cardholder name and/or library card barcode (should be 14 digits and begin 231600)
  • Item title and barcode (should be 14 digits and begin with 336100)
  • When and/or where you believe you returned the item.

The Library will respond back to you as soon as possible. If it is determined the item is lost the replacement cost of the item and a $5.00 processing fee will be charged to the account. ​​

​​​How to avoid overdue fines

The following tips can help you return items on time:

  • Keep your reminder receipt in a prominent place (such as on the refrigerator or on your calendar).
  • Count the number of items you have checked out and how many you return.
  • Ask the circulation staff for a printed list of your current check-outs and their due dates.
  • If you are moving, make the Library part of your "list of things to do" and return your items.
  • Talk to us about any unusual circumstances regarding your checked out items. Let us know right away if there is a problem.
  • When the Library is closed, return your Library items to the 24-hour outside bookdrop outside on the Liberty Street side of the main Library. Items returned in the outside bookdrop before 8:00 a.m. will be checked in as if returned the previous business day.

Contact us

Library Administration Office
Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
585 Liberty ST SE RM 317
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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