There's this guy, we'll call him John, who six years ago took books out from the Cleveland Public Library.
His due date comes and goes and he holds onto the books, fully intent on returning them soon and paying the fines.
Days go by, weeks go by, months go by, years go by, and John never returns the books.
He's not paying his fine, so he feels pretty good about the situation, but he also can't take out books from the library anymore, and that's a downer.
If we knew John, and we're not saying we do, we'd tell him that he can walk into the library this month, dump off his late books, and have the fines wiped out.
Yes, it's true.
The Cleveland Public Library is touting "Start Fresh" September, which will let the slackers who've hung onto books for months, and yes, years, return the materials free of fines.
From the press release:
“These are difficult economic times and this initiative gives our patrons an opportunity to bring their overdue books back without embarrassment, and encourages them to come back to the library,” said Felton Thomas, executive director of CPL. “Library books that are not returned cannot be used by others in the community.”
Patrons can return overdue books and materials to any branch between September 1 and September 30 free of fines, no questions asked. Patrons owing fines on previously returned materials can pay 50% of the balance and the remaining 50% will be forgiven. The goal of this initiative is to promote the return of much needed library materials and to prepare patrons for a materials recovery program that is set to begin in October. The materials recovery program is being adopted as a way to recover lost materials that perhaps could not be replaced due to drastic budget cuts within the library. Patrons with library cards in good standing by October 1 will have the opportunity to continue checking out books, using the computers, and other library services.
There's no reason not to return them now, John. You know who you are.