JOHNSTOWN - Fines for overdue materials at the Johnstown Public Library will be increasing Jan. 1 for the first time since the early 1980s, library Director Erica Wing recently told the Common Council.
But the library also is looking to have library scofflaws clear their fines to benefit a good cause as well this month.
Wing reported to the council that library officials feel it is time to raise the fines after many years of no change. Starting Jan. 1, she said overdue DVDs will now cost 25 cents per day, and all other library items will cost 10 cents per day.
The library currently charges 5 cents per day per item for late fines, and a maximum of $2 per item is allowed. The exception to this policy is for certain packs and math kits, with a fee of $1 per day with a maximum of $10 accrued. Member accounts are frozen when charges of $5 or more are reached. Loan periods for most items are either two or four weeks with usually a one-time renewal allowed.
Wing also reported the library is doing something proactive with the fine situation in December. She said people can "clear fines for a cause."
The library is conducting a food drive to benefit the Johnstown Council of Churches Food Pantry throughout the month of December. Donations are welcomed and encouraged, she said. Those looking to clear overdue fines from their account can do so by donating, and for each item donated, 25 cents will be deducted from a fine balance, Wing said.
The Johnstown Public Library will increase fines Jan. 1.
Current fines: 5 cents per day per item for late fines.
Change: Fines for overdue DVDs will be 25 cents per day, and fines for all other library items will be 10 cents per day.
"We're hoping people will come out, even if they don't have any fines to clear," Wing said.
Library officials said that in particular demand are non-perishable food, including fruit, tunafish, and soup, bagged stuffing, boxed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and Hamburger Helper. All donations can be brought to the front desk of the library, located at 38 S. Market St.
Donations cannot be counted against missing or lost library item charges, and library patrons cannot use donations to accrue credit on their accounts.
Those needing more information can call the library at 762-8317 or email Wing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.