Vail library waives more than $2,000 in fines
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Dozens of overdue or “lost” items made their way back to the library in Vail, Colorado last month, resulting in $2,022 in waived fines in just two weeks.
The return of materials was part of the library’s Amnesty Month from mid-April to mid-May, where the library’s computers were set to excuse all late items that were returned.
“The goal is just to get the library materials back in health,” said library director Lori Ann Barnes. “A lot of times people say, ‘It’s overdue,’ and they hesitate to bring it in. Now when people return items, some get a nice surprise. We’ve gotten a lot of materials back and very thankful customers.”
Barnes did not have information for the number of items returned or the total amount of fees waived, but called the month-long event a success.
Some overdue items don’t get returned despite multiple overdue notices.
But some items that had already been labeled “lost” and were billed to the library user were returned. Some library users were expecting fines and pleasantly surprised to hear the news. Others said they were encouraged by the Amnesty Month.
“One happy patron had not used the library since 2005, and she had $45 in fines on her record,” Barnes said. “She was delighted to make use of the amnesty and become a patron of the library once again.”
Vail librarians said there were times that they were struck by the honesty of some library users.
One part-time resident called in to say he’d left town, still had checked out items and wanted to know what he owed. He was pleased to find out his fines were waived.
Other library users have returned their items and donated their fine money to the library anyway, Barnes said.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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