Agency hired to find overdue and lost library materials

It costs you, our library patrons and taxpayers, unnecessary money and inconvenience when others keep books, DVDs, CDs and other materials long past their due date. Late and lost materials are not available for you to borrow — or must be replaced with funds that could have been used to purchase other materials.

In an effort to save taxpayers’ money, your library has decided to undertake a program to recover books and other items that are seriously overdue, meaning l1 weeks and four written and phone reminders late. We have hired Unique Management Services, a collection agency that since 1988 has worked with more than 1,400 libraries across the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. using their trademarked “Gentle Nudge” system.

UMS has developed what they say is a patron-friendly material recovery service using a combination of written communications and telephone calls to encourage patrons to return materials to the library. They promise that “Gentle Nudge” effectively and courteously encourages patrons to return materials with no loss of patron goodwill. But be aware that as a last resort they report non-responsive patrons to the three credit bureaus.

“Our objective is to get our materials back so that other patrons can enjoy them,” said library director Jackie Welch. “We have a duty to spend our tax dollars in a fiscally responsible way — especially in this difficult economic climate — while at the same time treating all our patrons in a respectful and professional way.”

Jackie stressed that at least 80 percent of our patrons are not part of the problem, and when they are a few days late in bringing back a book, DVD or CD they usually voluntarily donate to the Conscience Jar. It’s the other 20 percent who cause these long-term overdue problems, with disappearing DVDs an increasingly serious issue.

Jackie pointed out that the library benefits most by recovering overdue books and other materials rather than collecting money. Library items typically are more costly and time-consuming to replace, and cash payments for lost items often do not fully reimburse the library for the effort.

“Our goal is to get our overdue items returned promptly, not to levy fines and fees,” she said.

Once an account goes to the collection agency, patrons will be charged $10, the fee UMS charges us to track down the overdue materials.

“The good news is that they already have been successful in getting back a great many overdue and lost materials for us,” Jackie said. “We have been astounded by the good response in just the few weeks we have been using their service.” But we hope you’ll act before your account goes to UMS. We ask all our patrons with overdue materials to return them now so they can be enjoyed by the entire community.

Science Fun 

Science Fun, a science and technology club for curious kids in the fourth through six grades, takes place tomorrow (Friday, April 5) from 2-3:15 p.m. Sniff and slurp is this month’s theme. Registration is required so we have enough supplies for all the youngsters.

Teen games 

Teens in seventh through 12th grades are invited for a games event next Tuesday, April 9, from 4-5:30 p.m. We’ll have our Xbox out along with various board games. Snacks provided.

Connecting with Nature

Jason Stuck will host Connecting with Nature on the second Wednesday of every month from 4–5:30 p.m. starting next Wednesday, April 10. His sessions will cover naturalist studies, wildlife tracking, nature mentoring, art of survival, bird language and more.

Large print

“The Importance of Being Wicked” by Victoria Alexander is a romance set in an English country estate.

“Lookout Hill” by Ralph Cotton is a western featuring Arizona Ranger Sam Burrack. “The Bridegroom Wore Plaid” by Grace Burrows is a historical romance set in Scotland, the first in a new series. “Agenda 21” by Glenn Beck with Harriet Parke is a mystery taking place in America after a worldwide U.N.-led program called Agenda 21. “Calculated in Death” by J.D. Robb is the latest in the mystery series featuring investigator Eve Dallas.

Books on CD

“Breaking Point” by C.J. Box is the latest in the mystery series featuring Joe Pickett. “Summers’ Horses” by Ralph Cotton is a western featuring a horse trader whose horses are stolen. “A Rocky Mountain Christmas” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone tells the story of passengers trapped when an avalanche slams into their train.

“Ragnarok” by A.S. Byatt is a retelling of the Norse myth about the end of the world.

Biographies and memoirs

“Francona: The Red Sox Years” is an autobiography by the manager of the team that under his tenure rose to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history – and then fell back to last place when he left. “Until I Say Goodbye” by Susan Spencer-Mendel is the memoir of a journalist after she is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). “The Perilous West” by Larry E. Morris is the story of seven explorers from 1806 to 1814 who founded the Oregon Trail. “Sum It Up” by Pat Summitt is the autobiography of the famous NCAA and Olympics basketball coach who is now fighting early onset dementia.

Other nonfiction

“The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” is a collection of lectures by Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke about the 2008 financial crisis. “Immigration Wars” by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick proposes a practical, non-partisan six-point strategy to advance the national goals that immigration policy is supposed to achieve. “Salt Sugar Fat” by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Michael Moss documents the author’s belief that the world’s largest processed food companies — like Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kraft, Kellogg and Nabisco — have a win-at-all-costs strategy to hook us on unhealthy food. “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief” by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright uncovers the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Paging the Dead” by Brynn Bonner is the latest in the Family History mystery series. “Bay of Fires” by Poppy Gee starts with the discovery of a body of a young female backpacker. “Sweet Tea Revenge” by Laura Childs is the latest in the Tea Shop mystery series. “Red Velvet Cupcake Murder” by Joanne Fluke is the latest in the Hannah Swensen mystery series with recipes. “Breaking Point” by C.J. Box is the latest in the Joe Pickett thriller series. “The Sound of Broken Glass” by Deborah Crombie is a murder mystery set in South London.

Thanks to donors

For books and materials this week, we thank William Bono, Susan Crane, Bamma Laizure, Jim Mathison, Robert McClatchie and Lynne Rogers.

Quotable quote

“… we need to get re-acquainted with the notion that the relationships that really matter are not made through Twitter and social media. Real relationships take time to grow, and they begin with a genuine interest in the stories, dreams and challenges harbored within each of us.” — Former Florida governor Jeb Bush


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at

This story was posted on April 4, 2013.