You take out books from the library and sometimes you forget to bring them back racking up fines in the process. Public libraries take a big hit. North Providence is owed more than $5,000. Library director, Mary Ellen Hardiman, is now considering hiring a collection agency to help recover the losses.
"It's just unfortunate that we have to do it, but I think that this is the responsible way to do it," said Hardiman.
Hardiman says collectors would only be used in extreme cases. The agency steps in when the fines exceed $25.
"These would all be generally at least 3 months over due," said Hardiman.
The typical fine for overdue books is about twenty cents. Hardiman has seen bills as high as $264. The library sends out several reminders for patrons to return the books and pay the fines.
The collection agency would be notified after 90 days without payment.
Pawtucket's library has been using a collection agency since 2004. Library director Susan Reed says in that time period they have recovered materials worth more than $67,000.
There is a $10 fee per case charged by the collection agency that would be passed on to the borrower.