Lackadaisical library admin Palo Alto Issues, posted by $300,000, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Four years ago the city auditor suggested hiring a collection agency for unpaid library fines. $300,000 is due now, and they are getting around to it. The retired library director has much to answer for.
Posted by Library User, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm
Library fines are a bit of a joke. I have had to pay fines recently because the 2 books I had on hold were on different shelves and I only picked up one by mistake and also because I went to pick up a book after they opened the Mitchell Park library at Cubberley when I had ordered the book for Mitchell Park and they had it on hold at Main and it was too late that day to go and get it.
I paid my fines even though I thought it was their mistake not mine, but I had to ask to do so rather than not be allowed to check out more books until fines had been paid. It would make a lot of sense if you were prevented from checking out books until you had paid the fine or at least spoken with the librarian about it. Or, would that make too much sense?
Posted by Darwin, a resident of another community, on Feb 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm
I imagine that if a patron chekced out 15 or so art books and never returned them, they could easily rack up a fine of hundreds of dollars. I'm sure the library has thousands of users a year, I don't find it quite that obscene that the library could be out 300k, especially if they didn't previously have a collection agency.
Posted by Library Worker Bee, a resident of another community, on Feb 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm
It's true that this is being implemented as a result of an internal audit of the libraries cash handling procedures. There are any number of library employees that are not entirely comfortable with this new policy.
Posted by Downtown North, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm
I think they did add hours after the audit, but I can't be certain. I think the library in my neighborhood opened for an extra hour every day, and that the Mitchell Park library had added hours on a day of the week, but as I said before, I'm uncertain. And then of course they cut hours kind of recently. I'm not sure what the total loss/gain was after all that.
Posted by I love books, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm
I'm sorry, but, using a collection agency is *stupid*. Library fines are not like utility bills. We want people to use the libraries. If they abuse it, fine, stop letting them take out books. But viewing library fines as a revenue generator is just plain dumb. Period! No further discussion!! Please, visit your local library and enjoy reading the books!