Boston Public Library Launches Three-Week Overdue Book Drive in November
Overdue books, CDs, DVDs returned from November 1 through Thanksgiving will have associated fines cleared
| | More
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2012
Released By:
For More Information Contact:
BPL Communications Office

During November, the Boston Public Library will run a three-week drive to encourage the return of overdue materials to its shelves. Any overdue book, CD, or DVD returned to a Boston Public Library location from November 1 through Thanksgiving will have the associated fine cleared.  This is in effect for library users of all ages whether a book is one day late, one year late, or more. If an item is permanently lost, users will be responsible for paying only the replacement cost.

“The Boston Public Library offers something of value to everyone, and this overdue book drive makes one of the best deals in town even better,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. “I encourage Boston residents to visit their local branch, return any overdue items they may have, and continue to take advantage of the Library’s excellent programs and services.”

“Sometimes fines stop people from using their library,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. “This campaign is about welcoming our books back and about welcoming people back. We see it as an opportunity to say thank you to our users and to make it easier for them to be part of the everyday library community.”

The overdue book drive applies only to the actual return of physical materials from November 1 through Thanksgiving. Library users with outstanding fines on already-returned books will be asked to clear their record the usual way: by paying their fines.

This is the largest overdue book drive in Boston Public Library history. In January 2002, the City of Boston offered a “duty-free” weekend in honor of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s third inaugural celebration to encourage the return of overdue materials. During the blizzard of 1978, overdue fines were temporarily lifted following intense storms. In November 2008, all youth fines were wiped from the library’s records, but that effort did not require the return of materials as the 2012 overdue book drive does.

The overdue book drive comes in advance of the Boston Public Library’s planned computer upgrade in December which involves changes to its acquisitions, cataloging, and lending system. “Having these overdue books come back to the library in November will be of great help to us in transferring the most accurate data to the new system in December,” said Michael Colford, Director of Library Services. “Even as our users may be thanking us for clearing a fine when they bring back an overdue book, we’ll be thanking them for helping update our information.”

The Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a literacy center, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

# # #


Related Links