Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach Celebrates National Library Week with FINE FORGIVENESS

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 10, 2021) -- The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach will celebrate National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021) for an entire month with Fine Forgiveness. From April 5 through April 30, 2021, the library will waive all late fees and charges for lost materials including books, CDs, DVDs and other items. The Library wants to welcome back cardholders whose access to the library has been blocked by fines. This will allow cardholders to access vital programs and resources as the library recovers any outstanding items.  In addition, the Mandel Public Library has also become Fine Free, which means library users will no longer accrue any late fees ever; they are responsible only for lost material fines moving forward. 

The Fine Forgiveness program requires cardholders to come into the library with a current ID to verify their address and return any overdue materials. Fines for the overdue materials, along with charges associated with lost items, will be waived during the four-week amnesty period. Fine Forgiveness applies only to items checked out before April 5, 2021. Fines and lost book charges for Interlibrary Loan items (borrowed from other libraries) will not be waived at any time. Each cardholder must be present to be eligible for forgiveness, so families are encouraged to visit together.

“The Mandel Public Library will be joining public libraries across the nation that recognize library fines as an issue of equity,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “Eliminating this barrier moves us one step closer, as we work to make West Palm Beach a community of opportunity for all.” 

“We want our patrons to know that we are here for them. Through Fine Forgiveness and becoming a Fine Free library, we are removing all barriers to ensure our community members have access to critical library services,” said Lisa Hathaway, Director of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. “Whether people visit in person or virtually, our Library offers endless opportunities to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

During the pandemic, the Mandel Public Library continued to exceed community demands and adapted resources and services to meet needs during challenging times. Librarians pivoted quickly and created virtual programs, Grab & Go activity kits, and phone or online help for jobs and homework. Over the past year, the Mandel Public Library remained committed to serving the community. 

Library Services March 2020 March 2021:

  • 46,322 Visitors to the Mandel Public Library
  • 476,000 Items Checked Out or Downloaded
  • 40,000+ People Attended Virtual or In-Person Library Programs
  • 2,488 New Library Cards Issued
  • 40% More People Using the Digital Library
  • 370 Free Meals Given to Families in Need

Library users seeking Fine Forgiveness can stop by the library reception desk with a current ID during the amnesty period from April 5 to 30 or contact the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach at (561) 868-7700. Note that masks are mandatory when visiting the Mandel Public Library, and social distancing is maintained.

Once library cards are reactivated, patrons gain access to the Mandel Public Library’s impressive collection of materials and menu of services including job help, homework help, children’s summer programming, virtual fitness classes and more. Patrons will also have access to the digital library with over 500,000 ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more…with no late fees ever! 

About the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach

Founded in 1895, the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach has evolved from a modest Reading Room along the waterfront to an innovative and cutting edge facility located in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach. The Mandel Public Library provides a wide range of programming for kids, teens, and adults focused on creating inspired lives by connecting people with information and ideas. For more information, visit or call (561) 868-7700, TTY – 1-800-955-8771.

Many library programs are supported by the West Palm Beach Library Foundation, which raises funds for the Mandel Public Library to provide free quality programs, services, and resources that enrich and strengthen its diverse community.  For more information, visit or call 561-868-7793.