Friday, August 04, 2006

Oops! I thought I'd brought that back. . .

It's that sinking feeling in your stomach. A library book, video, or CD that you were just SURE you'd returned -- expect that there it is, on your own bookshelf. Or it's the children's book you borrowed when your grandchildren came to visit -- only it somehow ended up under the passenger seat of your car.

It happens all the time, and it is, thankfully, one of the more easily solved of life's problems. You return the item, pay that dreaded fine, and all is well.

And what is that fine? 10 cents per item per day.

Often, this results in a small amount. One book kept one week late = 70 cents. Not so bad. Even 3 books kept one week late = 2.10. Still not too steep.

Sometimes, however, even a mere 10 cents can add up. 15 picture books out on one child's card, another 12 on another child's, a few novels and videos on your own card -- and pretty soon, those fines can really add up.

How to avoid such a scenerio? Remember, for starters, that you can always renew items if you need them longer. This can be done easily on the library website, Click on "My Account," enter your library card number and your 4 number PIN (you need to get this the first time from the library -- just call us and we'll set it up for you in a quick minute).

Or do it the old fashioned way -- call us and ask that we renew your materials. We'll do it right over the phone. FYI: the only materials we can't renew are those which are on hold for someone else. Any other materials, including DVDs, videos, and CDs, can be renewed one time.

To make this even easier, we've recently revamped the system for overdue notices. Once you have an item which is two weeks overdue, we will send you an overdue notice. This, obviously, costs the library both staff time and postage -- but I think that it will be worth it, because it's important that we get our materials back as soon as possible. And it's in your best interests, too, since an overdue charge for an item two weeks overdue is a lot easier to handle than a larger one!

Besides, who knows what other treasures you might find under that passenger seat!