Overdue Book

Got library debt? Collection agency will help

The Daily Herald [Illinois] has picked up on libraries using collection agencies. "We don't want their money," Nichols Library Circulation Supervisor Karen Knight said. "We just want the stuff back."

That "stuff" is costing a bundle when it's not returned, officials say.

"A lot of people think, 'Well, it's just the library,'" Knight said. "But we could be talking about significant amounts of money."


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 .


A Greater Good - Fines Go Towards Tsunami Relief

York, Maine is one of several towns and cities that have decided to contribute late fees paid by patrons towards tsunami relief. Many Maine libraries chose to begin the drive last week (Maine library week), and most are contributing to UNICEF. The idea was spearheaded by Elizabeth Moran, director of the Camden Public Library.

Story from The Portsmouth Herald .


Book 'em: Libraries turn to collection agencies

Pete writes "From JSOnline we have this story of libraries getting tough with patrons."Overdue library books and videos won't just prevent patrons from checking out the latest Harry Potter novel. Those overdue items might show up on their credit reports.Among six public libraries in Wisconsin, the Waukesha Public Library has turned to a collection agency to recover items that are not returned.The Wisconsin libraries are among the roughly 650 libraries in North America that have employed Unique Management Services Inc. as their collection agency.""


Library book returned 78 years late

twistedlibrarian writes "Good thing he didn't run afoul of Seinfeld's Library Police.

"Billy Hawse is relieved he won't get charged for this overdue book.

And with good reason -- at $549 and counting, The Book of the National Parks would have one pricey fine.

The Huntsville, Ala., man found the Akron-Summit County Public Library book while fording through his late parents' estate. The due date made him gasp -- April 14, 1927."

The Mercury News "


Lost Library Card Costs Minnesota Family Hundreds

A very short article from the Associated Press says When Michelle Nash got a bill for more than $350 in overdue fines and replacement costs from the Anoka County Library, she knew something was wrong.

It turned out that somebody else had been checking out CD's and books with the library card that her ten-year-old son, Garrett, lost last summer.

Garrett lost his wallet when he fell off his bike a block from home. The last time he recalled seeing his library card, it was in his wallet.

Several weeks ago, the Nashes started getting recorded messages from the library saying they were holding overdue materials. The fines had already reached $50.


Bad Axe Book Borrower Belongs Behind Bars

USA Today tells us that librarians in Michigan want to crack down on overdue book borrowers...and they mean business.

Bay City Library Director Frederick Paffhausen pointed the finger at one patron from Bad Axe who owes $1,190 for 73 items — mainly science-fiction books — hoarded for more than a year.


Overdue Bay County MI library books could lead to jail time

Another AP story on another library on "frustrated librarians" proposing a crackdown on the worst overdue book offenders that could lead to criminal charges and up to 90 days in jail. Patrons keep an average of $25,000 in overdue materials out of the county's library system each year, officials said.
See Also a story out of Nebraska where Omaha's public libraries are about to get tough on people who ignore due dates on books and other items they check out.


Deadbeat Library Patron Tries to Makes Her Point

Writer Christine Berge, who describes herself as a deadbeat library patron and a local (Santa Cruz CA) resident, gives us a "case study" of her overdue book fine in the Santa Cruz Sentinel .

Sharing responsibility for her woes are a wonderful kids book "Alberto the Dancing Alligator" by Richard Waring, her five-year-old son, and an incorrect e-mail address.

Hey mom, check under the bed first next time.


Barry the Book on trail of bad borrowers

Anonymous Patron writes "Barry the Book on trail of bad borrowers, an article from Manchester (UK) Online looks at Barry Anderson. He arrives unannounced on the doorsteps of borrowers to reclaim their overdue library books. He is so good at his job that he has recovered a staggering haul of 10,500 books, 600 VHS videos, 300 CDs, 71 DVDs and 33 CD-Roms in five years - worth more than £55,000."



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