Photo by Jeylin White
Beginning July 1, Clayton County libraries are increasing library book late fees from 10 cents a day to 20 cents a day.
Those who fail to return library books in a timely manner will have to pay more in late fees come July. The Clayton County Library Systems are doubling the fees from 10 cents to 20 cents, each day the book is late. The fee increase will begin next month.
Yvonne Carmicheal, assistant director for technical services for Clayton County Library Systems, said the increase in overdue fines for books was not something the Clayton County Library Systems wanted but it was the decision of PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services).
PINES is a statewide consortium of 285 public libraries and affiliated service outlets in 143 counties throughout Georgia.
“Being a part of the PINES consortium allows Clayton County Library System to provide Clayton County residents with free access to millions of books that individual libraries would not otherwise be capable of purchasing,” said Carmicheal. “It also gives all PINES library cardholders the ability to go to and use any of the other PINES libraries throughout Georgia.”
She said being a member of the PINES consortium also requires the library to follow the fine and fee policies determined by the PINES Executive Committee. “At its annual meeting in May, the PINES Executive Committee voted to approve this upcoming fine increase,” said Carmicheal. She said Clayton County voted against fees being increased because “we felt that an increase in fines was not some that the Clayton County community needed.”
Carmicheal said this will be the first fine increase since PINES was implemented in 1999. “At this time, there are no changes in the overdue fines for audiobooks, videos, and other items, but the policies are currently under review by PINES subcommittees and changes could be implemented in coming months,” she said.
All Clayton County Library Branches will see the increase and it will affect any book that is either checked out or renewed on or after July 1, and then returned late. Those libraries include: Headquarters at 865 Battle Creek Road , in Jonesboro; Forest Park Branch at 696 Main Street, in Forest Park; Jonesboro Branch at 124 Smith Street, in Jonesboro; Lovejoy Branch at 1721 McDonough Rd, in Hampton; Morrow Branch at 6225 Maddox Road, in Morrow; ant Riverdale Branch at 420 Valley Hill Road, in Riverdale.
Carmicheal said though the fees are increasing she does not think this will stop people from checking out books. She said if there is any change it will be that borrowers will return books when they are due back.
Currently, Carmicheal said books can be checked out for up to two weeks. She said even with late fees library books can still be checked out, until it reaches $10, then books can no longer be checked out, until the late fine is paid.
According to the Clayton County Library Systems website, books and other library materials can be renewed online, by telephone, or in person during library business services. “People can renew books twice,” said Carmicheal.
For additional information about PINES or for a complete list of PINES libraries, please visit www.georgialibraries.org/public/pines.php. For additional information about Clayton County Library System, please visit www.claytonpl.org.