The Augusta library system has turned to a collection agency to help get back more than 25,000 items that are at least six months overdue. Book borrowers who owe more than $25 and fail to return items after 120 days of the collection agency’s calls, emails and letters, are reported to credit-scoring organizations.
The book collection agency, Indiana-based Unique Management Services, has been working with libraries across the country since 1996, reports The Augusta Chronicle.
Russell Liner, a librarian at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library in downtown Augusta, said having a significant number of overdue items is detrimental to the library
“It hurts our circulation, it hurts our patrons and it really defeats the purpose of having a library because the system operates on the honor code,” said Liner. “We’re letting you check out these items for free, and all you have to do is bring them back.”
The overdue items in Augusta are valued at $460,000, the Augusta paper reports.
Liner said the most popular overdue items include audio and video discs, and GED practice books.