Monday, October 22, 2007
The news that an ex-student returned a library book to an Alabama high school via mail 17 years overdue, along with a check for $620 for the estimated overdue fees, caused me to reflect on our own circulation policies. I have been reconsidering our two week circulation period in the past year, with the goal of attempting to better align with how our policies align with the curriculum of the teachers in my building. Our library automation system is set to only count days that we are open, omitting weekends, holidays, and teacher workdays by design. We recently had a book returned that was 1030 days overdue, a new record in my 13 year tenure, and quite a notable period when considering that we do not count the summer holiday either. To further complicate the considerations, we charge $.05 per day on overdues (with a 1 day grace period), and we formerly had no limit on how high fines could accrue for overdues. The record for an overdue fee for one student back about 7 years ago was $29 and change for 3 books. But, everything is negotiable, and that student was able to secure his diploma without securing a loan. Perhaps this is fodder for our next online poll.