A policy change will allow 10,000 suspended cardholders of Mid-Columbia Libraries to again check out books, DVDs and other materials.
The library district’s board recently raised the level of outstanding fines and fees to $25 before a cardholder’s lending privileges are suspended, a release said. The limit was previously set at $10.
Mid-Columbia Libraries will continue to send any accounts with fines and fees in excess of $25 to a collections agency for repayment.
Library officials said the policy change has no financial impact on Mid-Columbia Libraries’ budget. Most cardholders who reached the previous $10 limit often just stopped visiting the library and didn’t pay the owed fines and fees.
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“Hopefully this gets them to re-engage with the library and eventually pay off the fines,” said Davin Diaz, the library district’s spokesperson.
The policy change was made in an effort to have an active library account tied to half of the households in the region by 2018.
Despite the change, 13,000 cardholders are still not allowed to check out materials because of unpaid fines and fees. The library district has nearly 155,000 cardholders in all.