Overdue Materials

1. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures when dealing with patrons who have long overdue materials from the North Adams Public Library.

2. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 states: “Any person who has properly charged out library materials or property, and who, upon neglect to return the same within the time required and specified in the by-laws, rules or regulations of the library ., after receiving notice from the librarian or other proper custodian of the property that the same is overdue, shall willfully fail to return the same within thirty days from the date of such notice shall pay a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars and shall pay the replacement value of such library materials or property, including all reasonable processing costs, as determined by said governing board.”

3. Patrons applying for the right to use the North Adams Public Library are “responsible for all materials borrowed on their card and will comply with all library circulation policies.” Because of the limited numbers of materials available and the very high demand, the North Adams Public Library limits checkout of materials to an initial three-week period with a maximum checkout period of six weeks if not requested by another patron during that time. Materials held longer than five weeks beyond the due date are in violation of the Library’s policy and shall be construed as unlawfully detained and the following procedures will be implemented:

TWO WEEKS BEYOND DUE DATE: Overdue notice is delivered by phone or mailed;

ONE MONTH BEYOND DUE DATE: Patron receives a bill for overdue materials and a notice of suspension of borrowing privileges. A maximum fine of $3 for books, books on tape and CD, and musical CD’s and $5 for videos and DVD’s will be charged when the items are returned. If items have been lost or damaged, patrons will pay the replacement cost plus a $10 processing fee for these items. Overdue fines will not be charged.

45 DAYS BEYOND THE DUE DATE: The account is handed over to a collection agency, and an additional fee of $10.00 is added.
Library patrons with more than $10 in fines or replacement costs will be blocked from using any of the C/WMARS libraries. These include Williamstown Public, Berkshire Athenaeum, BCC, MCLA, and more than 75 other libraries in Western and Central Massachusetts.

Patrons with less than $10 in fines are expected to make full or partial payments of at least $1 on their fines before checking out any additional materials.

Beginning January 2018, the North Adams Public Library will no longer charge overdue fines on children and young adult cards. Removing overdue fines provides greater access for children and young adults to use the full range of library resources. Cards that will not accrue fines must be designated "juvenile" or "young adult" in the CWMARS catalog (Evergreen ILS ). This policy will take effect for any items checked out January 2018 or later. Lost item and damage fees will still apply. At two week overdue, an overdue notice and email will be sent as a reminder to return library items. Items not returned within one month of the due date will be considered lost and the full cost of the item will be charged to the patron's account.