Whitewright Public Library

Library begins new process to recover overdue materials

One of the most labor intensive parts of the library’s work is recovering overdue materials. Library staff have some help with our automation system notifying users of past due items, but we are always seeking ways to improve the user experience.

For several years, our automatic system has used four levels: the first two are text/email/phone call, the third is a post card, and the fourth is a letter that lists all items due. This is why it’s very important to let the library staff know if you have a change of address or phone number, so you won’t miss an important notice. There’s even a due date warning that can be sent out by email or text three days in advance to help prevent overdue items.

Now we have a new letter, called “total owed notice”. This will list any fines, items overdue, library collection agency fees, etc. We have sent out our first batch, and we hope it will jog memories about mislaid books or DVDs that can then make their way back to the library. Please note we used the system default settings on the first letters mailed out, so they are titled “delinquency notice”, but we have changed that and are continuing to tweak it as we find ways to improve.

We don’t want the library to have an adversarial relationship with the public. That’s exactly the opposite of why we’re here. These letters are simply a nudge for those who receive them. We just want our materials returned, and night drops are available 24/7.

For those who have fines, alternate payment options are available at the discretion of the library staff, such as community service in the library. Your fine might not be as bad as you think; all items except movies and games stop at $3 per item, while movies and games stop at $10 per item.

If you have any questions, please call 903-364-2955.