Library increases some fines/fees to offset reduced budget
To help offset recent budget cuts, Charleston County Public Library is increasing some fines and fees beginning April 1, 2009.
The daily fine for overdue books will increase from 10 cents per day to 15 cents per day, and the charge for replacing a lost library card will change from $1 to $2. Also, patrons must pay any fines or lost item charges on their account to renew a library card (every three years for county residents and every year for non-residents). There still is no fee to county residents for an initial Library Card or to renew, but the account must be up-to-date to renew.
With the increase in overdue charges for books, Charleston County’s fines will be more in line with similar library systems in the region. For instance, Richland County’s overdue book fine is 20 cents per day, Spartanburg County’s is 15 cents per day and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County’s is 20 cents per day.
Also, a new fee is being added for Interlibrary Loan services, when patrons request special items to be borrowed from other systems outside of Charleston County Public Library. To defray postage costs, patrons will be charged $2 per item when it is received.
As a cost saving measure, the library is reducing the number of postcards it sends to patrons with past due materials, mailing a single notice when an item becomes two weeks late. This will reduce the amount of printing required and greatly save on postage charges. A postcard notice still will be mailed when a requested book or DVD becomes available and is on hold.
E-mail notification is a money-saving alternative for patrons, cutting the library’s cost of mailing postcards and providing patrons with faster notices when an item is overdue or when a requested item is available for pick up. More environmentally friendly, e-mail notification also allows the library to send patrons a reminder three days before a due date to help borrowers avoid late fines. For added convenience and to help avoid late fines, patrons can return items at any of CCPL’s 16 branch locations or can renew items once online or by calling the library.
To sign up for e-mail notification or for renewals, visit the library’s Web site at www.ccpl.org or call 805-6930.
The Library Board of Trustees approved these changes in an effort to partially offset increasing costs and reduced budget revenues.