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Library Fees

The Bellingham Public Library no longer charges overdue fines for library materials returned after the due date! This change became effective January 2, 2020. See our announcement: Libraries say farewell to overdue fines.

Patrons will still be charged a replacement cost for unreturned or damaged items. Borrowing privileges will be suspended for cardholders with fees totaling $40.00 or more.

All library rates and fees are set by the Library Board of Trustees.

Overdue Materials

We no longer charge overdue fines, but we do want our items to come back so the next user can borrow them!

A due date is provided when materials are borrowed, and most items can be renewed up to three times if no one is waiting.

Library materials that are not yet returned 28 days after the due date will be considered lost, and your account will be charged our cost for the item. If the item is returned in good condition within one year, we are happy to accept the item back and credit your account for the charge.

Lost or Damaged Materials

Borrowers are responsible for the replacement costs of any lost or damaged materials.

The Bellingham Public Library does not accept replacement copies for lost or damaged items.

Costs for materials borrowed from other libraries (interlibrary loan) are determined by the owning library, and are not negotiable or refundable.

Lost Library Cards

If you lose your card, please let us know as soon as possible. Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of any items checked out to their card before it is reported lost.

How to Make Payments

Payments for library accounts may be made in the following ways:

Online via the City of Bellingham Finance Department. Your library card number and PIN (usually the last 4 digits of you telephone number) are required to make online payments.

In Person with cash, check, debit or credit card at the Central, Fairhaven, or Barkley Library.

By Mail with check (please include your library card number on the memo line).

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Collection Agency and Payment Plans

The Library is obligated to attempt the recovery of all outstanding debt and/or library materials. Uncollected charges of $75.00 or more are referred to Unique Management, a national collection agency that works with libraries to resolve outstanding balances and recover materials.

A non-negotiable collection fee will be applied to the account of any borrower who reaches this threshold.

Borrowers may establish a payment plan with the Bellingham Public Library. The payment plan will involve an initial payment, followed by regular installments, until the borrower’s account is paid in full.