- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The director of the public library in South Dakota’s capital city wants to crack down on people who are late returning items or don’t bring them back at all.

Robin Schrupp told the Capital Journal in Pierre (https://bit.ly/1pDqfap ) that when she took over the Rawlins Public Library last fall, she discovered that it had an antiquated computer system, nonfunctioning electronic security panels at the front door and no policy manual to guide staff on matters such as requiring library cards.

As a result, missing books and movies have become commonplace.

“No one is ever assessed a fine around here,” Schrupp said.

The library will start fining people for overdue items once the city buys a new software system - though that might not happen until next year, according to Schrupp.

Many libraries in South Dakota’s larger cities collect thousands of dollars in late fees each year. The library in Brookings funds summer reading programs with its late fees, which total about $17,000 annually.

In 2013, the Alexander Mitchell Public Library collected $4,282; the Yankton Community Library took in $4,816; Huron had $7,334; the Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library brought in $2,600; Grace Balloch Memorial Library in Spearfish received about $11,000; and the Watertown Public Library collected $15,856.

The Huron Public Library uses a collection agency for outstanding fines, director Shirley Apley said. She estimates the library has accumulated more than $29,000 in the last five years.


Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, https://www.capjournal.com

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