Effective July 1 public library users who fail to return their borrowed books on time will see an increase in library fines. The PINES Executive Committee recently voted to increase the overdue fee for books from 10 cents per day to 20 cents per day. The vote was approved at the annual committee meeting in May.
PINES, which stands for Public Information Network for Electronic Services, is a statewide consortium consisting of 285 public libraries and service outlets in 143 Georgia counties. PINES offers residents a shared catalog of nearly 10.4 million items with a single library card welcomed at all member libraries.
The increase in overdue fines will affect those using any PINES member libraries including the Athens Regional Library System which consists of the Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe County libraries.
“Overdue fees have never increased since PINES was introduced in 1999. More and more, however, public libraries are being forced to use debt recovery agencies, and this fine increase for books is necessary to defray the cost of that service in addition to helping fund the replacement costs of unrecoverable items,” stated PINES Program Director Elizabeth McKinney in a press release.
Library users in these areas may see fine increases for overdue magazines, audio books, compact discs and other items. These increases are currently being reviewed by PINES subcommittees.