Boston Public Library Extends Moratorium on Late Fines Through March 31, 2021

BPL Remains Committed to Removing Barriers to Access for Patrons

Boston – December 16, 2020 – The Boston Public Library today announced that is it extending its moratorium on assessing late fines through March 31st, 2021. The BPL first instituted the moratorium in March, 2020 in the wake of the pandemic. While originally planning to reinstate fines in September, 2020, the BPL instead extended the moratorium through the end of 2020, and has now extended it for a second time through the end of March, 2021. 

WHO: This extension applies to all adult library card holders at all BPL branches. To note, patrons across the library system under the age of 18 are already exempt from late fines.  

WHEN: With this latest extension, any physical item returned before March 31st, 2021 will not incur late fines.  

WHY: As BPL President David Leonard said in September: “The Boston Public Library believes that, as the pandemic and its economic impacts continue, halting fines offers patrons maximum flexibility, supports safe behavior, and removes additional barriers to our collections at a time when access to free resources is more important than ever. We are dedicating ourselves anew to delivering digital services and providing physical access for our patrons; knowledge, information and resources should be free to all, and free of barriers to equitable access.” 

HOW: Patrons looking to return items can do so at the Central Library in Copley Square or at any branch library open for BPL To Go.   

All branches that are not closed for renovations and that have after-hours book drops can accept returned items at all hours. Fields Corner, Uphams Corner, and Chinatown do not have after-hours book drops, but can accept returns during BPL To Go Holds Pickup hours: 

  • Mondays – Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm 
  • Fridays from 1 pm to 4 pm 

Returned items will be quarantined for at least 96 hours before being processed by staff and returned to circulation. 

For more information on the BPL To Go program visit, and to learn more about the BPL’s online resources and events visit and