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Library Fines and Fees


The New York Public Library assesses a fine to the record of any borrower who fails to return library materials on or before their due date. Accumulated fines will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.

Fines For Overdue Materials

Material Type Fine Amount
(per day)
Age 65+/Persons with
Disabilities (per day)
  • Books
    (Hardcover & Paperback)
  • Compact Discs & Audiocassettes
  • Pamphlets & Periodicals
  • Picture Collection
    (Per Envelope)
  • Recordings with Books
  • Children's Books
  • DVDs
  • VHS videocassettes
  • VCDs
  • CD-ROMs
  • Computer/Video Games

Fines will continue to accumulate daily on all overdue items until the item is renewed, returned, reaches a maximum fine, or is declared lost by either the borrower or The Library. If an overdue item is successfully renewed, borrowers are responsible for the payment of any fines that accumulate while the item is overdue.

Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of library materials that are declared lost. The Library will not accept replacement of the actual item.  Once The Library receives payment for a lost item, the item becomes the property of the patron.  The Library cannot accept the return of or provide refunds or credits for lost materials if they are found after payment of replacement charges has been made.

Borrowers will be assessed the replacement cost of any library materials checked out to them if those materials are intended for in-library use only & are not returned by the end of the designated loan period.  In the case of Research Libraries’ material, the replacement cost will be determined on an item-by-item basis.

Borrowing privileges will be suspended for cardholders with fines and fees totaling $15 or more.

Payment Method

Fines can be paid at any New York Public Library branch in cash, U.S. Postal money order or personal check.   

Money orders and checks must be made out to The New York Public Library. Fine payments can be mailed to any NYPL branch or to:

Attn: Patron Accounts Management
The New York Public Library
11 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018

To facilitate processing, include your library card number in the note/memo field of any check or money order mailed. 

Effective November 1st, 2011, fines can also be paid online by credit card using our classic catalog interface by clicking on Unpaid Fines - Pay Online & following the onscreen prompts .  Online fine payment is handled via PayPal and the Library does not retain the credit card information of its users. Payment may be made on all accumulated fines or for individual items.  

Note that a minimum fine amount of $1.01 is required to use online payment.

Online payment is not available during the off-peak hours of 1:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. EST due to required system backups.

Borrowers using shared or Library PCs to pay their fines should however take special care to log out of their account when they have completed the payment process.  Credit card payment is not currently possible at Library public service desks.

Delinquent account information cannot be shared and fines cannot be paid by phone.  Any disputes regarding fines submitted to Patron Accounts Management must be submitted in writing to the address listed above.

Collection Agency and Payment Plans

The Library is obligated to attempt the recovery of all outstanding debt and/or library materials. To that end, borrowers with fines or fees of $50 or more are subject to contact from a collection agency.  A non-negotiable collection fee will be applied to the account of any borrower who reaches this threshold.

Borrowers whose accounts have been sent to collection may establish a payment plan with The New York Public Library. The payment plan will involve a substantial initial payment, followed by regular installments until the borrower’s record is once again in good standing. E-mail Ask NYPL for additional information.

Replacement Fee For A Lost Or Stolen Card

A mandatory replacement fee of $1.00 will be charged for a lost or stolen library card. Borrowers are also responsible for the replacement cost of any items checked out to their card before it is reported lost. Any claim that a borrower did not check out items on their card must be supported by a police report listing the theft of the card and/or items dated within 2 weeks of the checkout.