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December 1, 2010

Don’t be late: Director says increasing late fees at New Albany-Floyd County Public Library will help supplement budget

FLOYD COUNTY — The New Albany-Floyd County Public Library is ready to charge you more for being late.

Beginning today, fines have increased from 10 cents a day, to 20 cents for books, magazines, playaways, audio books and CDs. The fines increased to 5 cents a day for children’s books while fines for DVDs/videocassettes and framed art prints have risen to 50 cents a day.

“We desperately have to have more funds. And this is not going to be some huge money-maker,” said Steve Day, director of the library. “Right now we have no other choice. We are still less than other places. But people aren’t paying their taxes, tax caps are in place now so we had to do something.”

Day said it has been 10 years since the library increased late fees.

“We had to come up with other ways to raise funds,” he said. “We always try to be as frugal as we can.”

Day said with less funds to work with, capital improvements to the library will be at a standstill in the near future. The last project planned in the budget, that Day hopes to see to fruition, is a small cafe near the front entrance to the library. He said he would like to see it in place some time next year “The patrons have asked for it for years. A lot of libraries have those,” he said. “People who are here for hours want something to drink or nibble on.”

While fines are going up for tardy books today, residents will see a few other changes as well.  

Library patrons will be able to renew items up to three times beginning today. However, items on hold may not be renewed. Right now, items can be renewed one time only.

“We can’t allow people to renew it indefinitely. That wouldn’t be fair to other customers,” Day said.

Day said he is proud of the improvements the library has made in recent years considering 10 positions have been trimmed in the past decade and new dollars are hard to come by. There are two new self-checkout machines — one on both floors — as well as six laptop computers which can be checked out and used at the library for up to four hours. There is also new furniture and carpet.

“We still try to expand and improve. This is their library, not mine. I am just the caretaker,” he said.

The goal is to try and get the Bookmobile back on the road in 2011. However, Day said a lack of funds could prevent that from happening.

“I want to get that thing running again and get it out in the county,” he said.

Day said 5,000 people visit the library each week.

“A lot of people come through here,” he said.

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