Library amnesty to November

In an effort to get back missing books and other items, Kāpiti Coast District Libraries won’t be charging fines on long overdue (more than six weeks) items from Monday September 27 until the end of November, District Libraries Manager Leslie Clague said today.

“Over the 20 years the Kāpiti Coast District Libraries have been serving the community, some customers have forgotten or overlooked returning a few library books and other items.

“We understand that people misplace things, move house, lend books to other people, and then they think they’ll owe the library so much that they never come back.

“We want former library members to come back and to bring back any long overdue books, CDs, DVDs and so on and we’re not going to charge anything.

“Bring them back, and your account will be cleared. You can even put long overdue items through the overnight returns slot, if you’re embarrassed about doing it in person.

“Maybe you know you borrowed something but now you can’t find it for whatever reason. Come in and talk to us. We want you to start using your library again, but in the proper way.”

The District Libraries will shortly go onto a new computer system and the amnesty is aimed at sorting out the records on the libraries management system database and assisting with a stock take of items held by the libraries.

“The District’s ratepayers invest a lot each year in adding to and updating the stock of items held by the libraries so it’s in the interests of the community that we manage and retain our stocks effectively.

“While the amnesty will run until the end of November, people who do owe fines should be aware that after that time we will be placing significant debtors in the hands of debt collectors.

“It’s very much in the interests of those with long overdue items to take advantage of the amnesty period,” Mrs Clague said.

Currently the value of long overdue items is around $60,000 while an analysis of the total value of overdue fines, including those that are between 10 cents and $10, shows a total of just over 8900 customers owing fines and a total of fines due of around $150,000, Mrs Clague said.

“When an individual’s fines hit $10 we stop lending items until that is paid but, in the case of around 2800 customers, the fines exceed that and we haven’t seen them for a while. We want the customers back and we want the items back.

“Council has approved the amnesty from next Monday until the end of November and we’re hopeful that will turn up some long overdue stock and bring back some library customers whom we haven’t seen for a while,” she said.