News & Resources

Library takes drastic action to recoup overdue books

Dec 14, 2011 Mike Garretson

Officials at the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, public library recently decided to receive help with collections by hiring an agency to recoup more than $220,000 in late fees, Lancaster Online reports. The library is currently focusing on debt that was accumulated by patrons over the past five years, although it may attempt to go back even further to collect. The largest amount owed is from an account that dates back more than 10 years, totaling around $1,500. According to executive director Herb Landau, the move will not only lessen the library's current budgetary issues, but also make it known to the public that abusing library privileges will not be tolerated. "We want to demonstrate that we're taking our responsibility seriously," Landau told the news source. The agency will only target offenders who owe at least 25 dollars. According to library records, at least 2,000 people accumulated debts of $100 or more over the last 10 years. While library debt may not seem daunting, it can still have a negative effect on one's credit report for employment. Kenes Bowling, spokesman for collection agency Unique Management Services, told The New York Times that failure to return a book results in "legitimate debt" that's "credit-reportable."