kinder, gentler collection firm

Topic:,in PA, is running a Story on a local library that has hired an Indiana collection agency (Unique Management Services ) that specializes in library work.

\"\"We\'re hoping to get back more of the money that\'s out there and the material that is owed to us,\'\' library Administrator Mary Kupferschmid said.\"

Are there other library collection agencies? They say this one is run by an ex-librarian!\"It\'s a gentle nudge approach,\'\' Unique\'s Kenes Bowling said of the company\'s initial telephone or mail contact.

\"The ultimate bite is the credit report. We report it to the three major credit agencies and it stays on your report until you go to the library and clear it up.\'\'

The agency uses students from nearby Southern Baptist Seminary in Kentucky for its initial calls and adopts a pastoral approach with borrowers, Bowling said.

Bethlehem charges 25 cents a day for overdue adult books, 15 cents a day for children\'s materials and $1 a day for video and compact discs.

Only borrowers who owe more than $25 in fines and fees and have books and materials more than 60 days overdue will be turned over to the agency, Kupferschmid said.

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