Almost every day a customer at the Circulation desk is remorseful for owing even the smallest fine. Some of you worry jokingly if Mr. Bookman (a Seinfeld episode) will be ringing your doorbell. We'll hear how as a child it was unheard of to return library books late. Fines, never! Facing those austere people behind the desk was like being called to the principal's office. While we hope our wonderful Circulation staff presents a friendlier atmosphere, this library ethic has stayed with many of you.
Most libraries weigh in on the pro side for charging fines for material returned past the due date. Returning books on time shows consideration for those waiting as well as browsers in the library. We try to meet your requests in a timely manner, so on time returns keep library ordering down. Those on the con side believe fines are punitive and serve to keep people from using the library.
You can view your library record online and renew most material two times as long as there is no waiting list and your account is in good standing. Many of our members have opted for reminder notices to facilitate renewing and to avoid late fees. There is a brochure available at the circulation to guide you through managing your account online, which includes how to renew and to suspend your hold list.
I certainly don't ever remember owing a fine. Back in the day when I lived in the Bronx, my Dad and I walked to the West Farms Library and back with our selections. We visited often and just like you I don't remember paying fines. Maybe that's why we brought Dad along.