Library to waive late fees for one week

Published 8:24 am Friday, April 9, 2010

FRANKLIN—More than 950 books, DVDs and other items lent out by the nine branches of the Blackwater Regional Library, including in Franklin, are overdue.

Beginning Sunday through April 17 anyone who returns any of these items valued at a total of more than $9,000 will not be fined.

“So dig out your closets, look under the car seats and prowl the children’s playroom to find those materials and save yourself a lot of money while there is an amnesty on fines,” said Connie Henderson, manager for the library system’s Carrollton branch and adult services coordinator. “You can even put items in the book drops outside the libraries at any hour of the day or night. The library wants to get its materials back, especially important in a time of severe budget concerns.

The library is offering the fine-free event as part of National Library Week. Other branches are in Courtland, Claremont, Smithfield, Surry, Wakefield, Waverly and Windsor.

Books can be signed out for two weeks at a time and renewed twice. Fines for overdue books are 10 cents a day. DVDs can be signed out for two weeks; late fees are also 10 cents a day.

“For adult materials, people can return things at any branch,” Henderson said. “If they got it in Franklin and want to return it in Smithfield, that’s fine. We have a van that goes around every day and shuffles things around.”

The library also would appreciate hearing from anyone who lost an item that was borrowed. Arrangements would be made for that person to pay back the library, Henderson said.

In the last year the library system’s nine branches circulated 545,033 items, an average of 29 items every hour the library was open, she said. Over 51,000 children and adults attended over 2,000 programs.

Computers were used 79,524 times, and 5,943 new customers signed up for a free library card.

As the economy declines, library use increases significantly playing an important role in helping people to weather the recession, Henderson said.

“Blackwater Regional Library is no exception. Library users are not only saving money on entertainment, but also finding savings related to Internet access,” she said.