BRIEFLY : Libraries: Crackdown on Tardy Patrons

The Palos Verdes Library District, which is owed $200,000 in overdue fines and missing materials, plans to hire a collection agency to track down delinquent patrons, spokeswoman Nancy Mahr says.

Library trustees approved the measure unanimously earlier this month. Mahr said many of the 14,000 notices sent out last November and targeting delinquenT borrowers were returned to the district, indicating that the addresses were incorrect or unknown.

The three Palos Verdes Peninsula libraries have issued 57,000 library cards to patrons, Mahr said. Of these, 1,050 owe more than $10.

In the past, library users with overdue materials received two notices, and if there was no response, the library gave up the chase, Mahr said. Now, a third notice will inform patrons with fines of more than $10 that their accounts will be turned over to a collection agency.


The district has not determined how much a collection agency would cost. Many agencies work on commission, and some may also require a fee, Mahr said.

The library will distribute bookmarks and post signs urging people to return their materials on time. In addition, patrons will be required to renew their library cards every year, rather than every two years, and library cards will be deactivated if fines exceed $5.