We are offering select services at 38 library locations, including Central Library.

Materials Recovery Program


The Los Angeles Public Library wants its Books, Magazines, Videos, DVDs, CDs and Audiotapes back!

More than 13 million items a year are borrowed for free from the Los Angeles Public Library. Most are returned on time. The Library has always charged daily fines for materials not returned by their due date.

Unique National Collections has been hired to get books and other materials back and fines collected. Unique works with over 400 libraries nationwide to recover overdue materials and collect fines. Their services are aimed at the small percentage of borrowers who don't respond to their overdue notices.

Here's how LAPL's Materials Recovery Program works:

When items are:

  • 10 DAYS and 30 DAYS past due, LAPL notifies the borrower by e-mail, phone or paper notice. This is the time to search under the bed, in the trunk of the car, at the bottom of the book bag for missing items - and return them to the Library. Books, videos, CDs and other materials can be returned to any one of LAPL's branches or the Central Library.

    This is also the time to visit the Library if you cannot find an item. Library staff members are very willing to work with patrons to settle their overdue accounts in ways that meet the patron's ability and timeframe to pay.
  • 21 DAYS past due, or when a balance of $50.00 or more is incurred, LAPL forwards the account to Unique National Collections. A $15 service charge is added to the account in addition to overdue fines.

    Unique National Collections sends the borrower three letters and follows up with two telephone calls
  • 187 DAYS past due, Unique reports the overdue account to a national credit bureau that may affect the patron's credit rating for up to seven years.

*** LAPL's materials recovery program will benefit all library users by
putting materials back on the shelves for everyone to borrow. ***