Book fines to be waived for Library Week

Published 9:10 am Friday, April 8, 2011

FRANKLIN—In recognition of National Library Week, Blackwater Regional Library for seven days will waive fines for anyone who returns overdue books and other items to its nine libraries.

This year’s Fine Free Week will run Sunday, April 10, through Saturday, April 16.

“We want to get our materials back,” said Connie Henderson, manager of the Carrollton branch who oversees the system-wide effort. “At a time of tight budgets, this is an amnesty to encourage people to bring them back to us.”

During last year’s Fine Free Week, 1,371 books, DVDs, tapes and magazines on loan were returned to the nine branches. The oldest item returned was checked out in 2003.

Normally, fines are 10 cents per day for overdue books and materials in the adult and young adult collections and 5 cents per day for books and materials in children’s collections.

“We don’t make much money on it,” said Bonnie Roblin, branch manager for Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library in Franklin, which had 247 items returned during last year’s Fine Free Week.

Iola Lamison, branch manager for Walter C. Rawls Library in Courtland, said patrons can sign out a book for two weeks and renew it three times as long as no one is waiting for the book. Renewal can be done in person, by phone or online.

Lamison believes fine-free week works.

“We do find out they return items,” she said. “It’s wonderful. What we really want to do is get items back.”

The stories she’s heard in the past about overdue items were “I found it under my car seat, under the bed, the dog moved it, I was on vacation and I left it at the beach.”

If an item was checked out in Courtland, it can be returned to any of the branches, Henderson said.

“We have a van that goes around every weekday and picks up books,” she said.

Accounts in collection are not eligible to participate.

Libraries are also in Windsor, Claremont, Smithfield, Surry, Wakefield and Waverly.