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Library program cuts fees in half

September 28, 2009
Special to the Town Crier
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County plans a special program to reduce fines from Oct. 1 through Nov. 15. This program will help patrons by offering an incentive to settle their account completely by paying half of the fines and fees owed. PLYMC hopes this incentive will recoup a portion of the money which is owed to the Library. A patron who clears his or her account will have their borrowing privileges reinstated.

About 31 percent of library users owe a fine or a fee of some type at any given time. Patrons owing larger amounts of money are typically slower to pay and could potentially be turned over to a collection agency.

“In general, the more a person owes, the longer it takes him or her to pay,” said Library Director Carlton A. Sears. “During these difficult economic times, when the Library’s budget has declined by about 30 percent this year alone, the Board felt it would be prudent to institute a program which would help recoup outstanding fines and fees. This program would benefit both the Library and patrons who owe the Library money. By paying half of their fines and fees, patrons will have the whole amount forgiven. The Library hopes to encourage those who might not have paid their fees at all to come forward and clear their account.”

The 50% discount applies only to fines and fees owed the Library. It will also apply to those accounts already turned over to a collection agency, offering patrons a chance to clear that account for half the amount owed. (Please note: The Library is not able to repair or change a credit report.)

The discount does not apply to such situations as checks returned for insufficient funds, purchases, replacement library cards, interlibrary loan fees, printing or photocopying.  The discount will not apply to payment of any qualifying charges that were made prior to this special one-time discount offer, which begins Oct. 1.

At the end of this special program, on Nov. 16 the Library rates for materials kept beyond the due date (extended use fees) will be as follows:

Adult/Juvenile Print: 10 cents per day (no change)

DVD and VC: $1 per day extended use (formerly 50 cents per day)

CD, BCD and BOC: 25 cents per day extended use (formerly 10 cents per day)

For more information about the program, stop by any Mahoning County public library or visit the website:


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