Borrowers who fail to return public library books in a timely manner can soon expect to pay a few pennies more for their tardiness. At its annual meeting in May, the PINES Executive Committee voted to increase the overdue fee for books from 10 cents per day to 20 cents per day, effective July 1, 2012. A statewide consortium of 285 public libraries and affiliated service outlets in 143 Georgia counties, the Public Information Network for Electronics Services - PINES for short – offers citizens a shared catalog of approximately 10.4 million items, with a single library card that is welcomed in all member libraries.
The July fine increase will affect books in the collections of all PINES member libraries, including those of the Okefenokee Regional Library System, including Appling, Bacon, Clinch, Pierce and Ware Counties. Similar fee increases for overdue magazines, audio books, compact discs and other items are currently under review by PINES subcommittees and could be implemented in the coming months.
“Overdue fees have never increased since PINES was introduced in 1999,” said PINES Program Director Elizabeth McKinney. “More and more, however, public libraries are being forced to use debt recovery agencies and this fine increase for books is necessary to defray the cost of that service in addition to helping fund the replacement costs of unrecoverable items.”