Using Technology to Track Down Debtors


With libraries losing funding like water through a sieve, it only makes sense to keep track of the money that's owed by delinquent patrons. The Ottawa Public Library is doing just that, installing a computer program that will keep tabs electronically on scofflaw book borrowers.

Although they've already been using the services of a collection agency, the Library is planning to get them connected to a debt-collection program and recover what they estimate is more than $1 million in late fees. Story here .


By all means, don't let them check out new materials until they've paid their fines, but seriously, a collections agency?! A collections agency is for one thing: threatening the credit rating of another. Is this how we treat out patrons? Aren't those who pick up some overdue fines also the ones that use the library the most?Am I the only one that fines this wholly offensive?

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