The Seattle Public Library

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December 21, 2014

Using the Library

Get Started : Fees & Lost Materials

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Library closed Dec. 24 and 25

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day Thursday, Dec. 25.


Service interruption in the Library's Online Catalog - Jan. 1

Between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1,  the Library will be upgrading its electrical power system. During the upgrade, you will be able to search the catalog, but won't be able to log in, place holds, renew items or use other catalog features. The former Library catalog (Horizon Information Portal) will not be available at all. SPL Mobile, access to e-books, free music downloads and many databases and applications also will be unavailable.

Fees and Lost Materials

What if I do not return an item on time?

You will not be able to check out items if you have $15 or more in charges.






Books, magazines, pamphlets, CDs, audiocassettes, albums, videocassettes

25 cents



25 cents


Interlibrary Loan



Reference loan




Sign up for notices by email, phone, Library Elf or RSS to get help tracking due dates.


How can I pay my fine or fee?


There are three ways to pay a fine or fee.


What if I lose an item?


You will be charged for Library materials you lose. Replacement fees vary.  The Seattle Public Library does not accept in-kind personally purchased replacements for items lost or damaged while in circulation.


What does the Library do with overdue accounts?

Delinquent accounts for adults, children or teens with a balance due of $25 or more are submitted to Unique Management Service, a collection agency. The agency will:


  • Contact delinquent accounts until balances are paid or arrangements made with a branch for repayment and return of overdue materials
  • Report seriously overdue accounts to national credit reporting agencies
  • Charge a $12 processing fee


You may get reminders from Unique Management Service about overdue materials and outstanding fines. (Return rates on overdue materials are significantly better since the Library started using this service in 1999.)


To check the status of your account or to make payment, visit any branch or call 206-386-4190. Have your Library Card with you.

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