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Overdue Library Materials

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Policy No. 96-5

Effective Date: April 8, 2014

The LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library circulates library materials to eligible borrowers and seeks the return of all overdue library materials borrowed from the Library.

The purpose of this policy is to establish a procedure to accomplish the return of, or the payment for, overdue, lost or damaged materials, and to establish a procedure for assessing fines for overdue library materials.

Attached to this policy and incorporated herein are "Procedures for Implementing Overdue Library Materials Policy”, as amended by the Board of County Commissioners on April 8, 2010.

The Board of County Commissioners may amend these procedures from time to time as it deems appropriate in the best interest of the citizens of Leon County.

Procedures for Implementing Overdue Library Materials Policy

  1. The procedure for obtaining the return of overdue materials will apply to those materials that are overdue as of April 8, 2014.
  2. An overdue notice shall be sent to the delinquent patron when an item becomes 21 days overdue, informing the patron of the overdue status and the possibility of further action.
  3. If no response is received, within 21 more days, a bill is sent to the patron requesting payment for the item(s). Quarterly, the Leon County Attorney sends a letter to patrons whose overdue/lost accounts total more than $100, requesting that the item(s) be returned and all fees and fines paid and stating that if there is no response or payment is not made, the County Attorney will utilize a collection agency and any other appropriate forum that may be necessary thereafter to collect the fees and fines.
  4. No Library materials may be borrowed for any Library patron identified as being delinquent in returning borrowed Library materials, nor shall a new Library card be issued to a patron being identified as delinquent until all accrued fines and fees have been paid. If overdue materials are identified by the patron as lost, replacement value of the materials and a processing charge shall be paid by the patron (paragraph 6.d).
  5. Fees and fines for overdue or lost materials shall be:
    1. Print Materials
      The overdue fine for print materials in the general circulating collections shall be $.10 per day beginning at the time the Library closes on the date the item is due. The maximum fine for each overdue adult print item shall be $3. The maximum fine for each overdue children=s print item shall be $1.
    2. Reference Materials
      Reference materials are occasionally loaned based on patron need and the public use of the material at the time of the loan. The overdue fine shall be $5 per day, per item, with a maximum fine of $50 or the replacement cost of the item, whichever is less.
    3. Other Materials and Equipment
      Overdue fines shall be charged for the late and/or improper return of other materials and equipment as follows:
      1. Circulating materials that are not printed on paper and equipment may have different loan periods as determined at the time of the addition of that format to the collections.
      2. DVDs: $1 per item per day. The maximum fine for each item is $10.
      3. All other non-print materials: $.10 per day per item. The maximum fine for children’s materials is $1; the maximum fine for all other non-print materials is $3 for each item.
    4. Charges for Lost or Damaged Materials
      1. Library materials reported lost or damaged beyond repair by the borrower shall require a payment of the replacement value of the item and a processing fee of $5 per hardback book or non-print item; $2 per cataloged paperback book; and $1 per magazine. If the item is found and returned to the Library within one year, in satisfactory condition, with the library cash register receipt received at the time of payment for the item, the price paid for the item plus the processing fee shall be refunded to the borrower. Overdue fines are not charged on lost or damaged materials.
      2. Replacement Copies of Lost or Damaged Materials – Borrowers may replace lost or damaged materials. A new copy of the lost or damaged item may be present to the library in lieu of payment for the item. The item must be in the same format and have the same ISBN or UPC number. A processing fee of $5 per hardback book or non-print item; $2 per paperback book; and $1 per magazine must be paid.
      3. In cases, of hardship, such as loss or damage due to documented theft accident or fire, the Library may waive charges, fines or fees.
  6. Fines: Amnesty and Alternatives
    The library does not accept or participate in alternative programs for paying library fines. This includes amnesty, fine-free days, and proposals in which other goods are given in lieu of paying fines, for example, donating canned goods in lieu of paying overdue fines.