Until Valentine’s Day, return as many overdue books as your heart desires
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Society’s delinquents come in many forms.From the hardened criminals to the habitual traffic offenders, our justice system deals with its offenders as efficiently and fairly as possible. Such is the case for our county library system as well.The Garfield County Libraries are offering amnesty to all library card holders who return late books and videos on or before Valentine’s Day. In other words, you have today and Wednesday to bring back those overdue items with no questions asked and no penalty fees.Literary procrastinators are not easy to identify. Those guilty of late returns on their library books don’t necessarily fit any particular stereotype. One could be that sweet gentleman next door, the smiling mother of active children, the well-dressed executive who appears to have it all together. Or maybe it’s you.
New Castle resident Holly Pihl is no stranger to the world of overdue books. Pihl said her family checks out books by the laundry basket. Her son Robby considers himself to be the “book king.” The Pihl family has been known to have more than 70 books checked out at one time. “I’ve brought as many as 50 overdue books in at a time,” Pihl confessed. “The people at this library are extremely helpful, forgiving and understanding. They are wonderful.” The regular fines for late-returners may not seem too stiff at first glance. Ten cents a day per book … pocket change, right? But multiply eight books, by eight days and suddenly there goes your lunch allowance for Tuesday. And what about that mystery novel that slipped under your car’s passenger seat? It’s been there for more than three months. You’ve looked everywhere for it, you swore to the nice library lady that it was returned on time with the rest of your books, yet she insists they don’t have it. Now you owe $10 in fines and your life is spiraling out of control.”The penalty for overdue media (DVDs and VHS movies) is much higher, one dollar a day per item,” New Castle library branch manager Ann Honchell explained. “This is where people often get in trouble, because those penalties add up very quickly. The same goes for books ordered from libraries out of district. The penalty is much higher. But the good news is that these all fall under our amnesty offer.”
Ironically, Honchell says that the most common items to be overdue are self-help books. Books dealing with procrastination and social responsibility are no exception.Excuses for bringing books back late are varied but not usually very original, Honchell said. “I did have one person tell us that their books were late because they were in their car and their car was stolen. That was a pretty good one.”The overall message here is your library loves you, they forgive you and they want you and your overdue books and movies to come back. So take a look under your car seats and bring back your overdue books with your head held high.Garfield County’s friendly librarians are waiting for you.
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