Aberdeen, WA - The Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Board of Trustees voted last night at its regular monthly meeting to begin charging fines for overdue library materials beginning October 2009 and charging for computer printouts beginning January 2010. The meeting was held this month at the Montesano Timberland Library (W. H. Abel Memorial Library).
Charges for overdue library materials
A charge of $.15 per item per day for all types of materials will begin on October 1, 2009. Overdue fines will be capped at $5.00 per item. Twelve out of the 15 largest public library systems in Washington State currently charge fines. Input from recent patron surveys and town hall meetings indicated many people believe such fines are acceptable and even expected given the library system’s budget constraints.
The decision is meant to encourage prompt return of library items as well as provide revenue for operating the library system. Library materials returned on time will be available sooner to others who want to check them out, reducing the number of copies TRL needs to purchase. The annual estimated revenue from overdue fines is $525,000.
To avoid accruing overdue fines, borrowers will be encouraged to return items on time or renew them if possible. Patrons who have signed up for email notices from the library will receive “pre-overdue notices” before the due date.