Milwaukee Public Library welcomes back library patrons of all ages who may have been blocked from using the library due to fines and fees associated with having long overdue materials.

Adults and children are encouraged to visit their local branch of Milwaukee Public Library between Monday, September 26 and Sunday, October 9, 2016 when Library staff will help patrons get reconnected to the wealth of resources that the library has to offer.

Those interested in participating in the Welcome Back campaign should visit, in-person, one of the thirteen Milwaukee Public Library locations where they may return any overdue books, videos, music, or other library materials during this two-week campaign. Any cardholder with MPL fines or materials charges may come in and ask for fine forgiveness for themselves or for their children, even without materials. Library staff will work with patrons to re-activate library accounts, in addition to waiving all fines and fees. Items placed in book drops and fines on suburban Milwaukee materials are not eligible for this program.

“We are working hard to increase access to the library for Milwaukee residents,” said Paula Kiely, City Librarian. “We’ve added hours, enhanced our programming, and now we want to remove one of the biggest barriers – old fines and fees. Our staff will work personally with patrons to bring their library record back into good standing, and provide a personal update on the programs and services the library has to offer.”

In addition to reclaiming lost material, the library’s goal is to renew or issue new library cards to as many eligible participants as possible. Paula continued, “Library cards open a lot of doors to information and opportunity.” To obtain a library card, patrons must show their legal name and demonstrate residence in Milwaukee County. For a full list of valid forms of identification, see:

On May 24, 2016, MPL’s Board of Trustees approved implementation of a Fine Forgiveness Campaign. The last time the MPL held such a campaign was in April 1998 when over 12,000 items were returned in a one week period.

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Lee Matz