Wilmington Public Library joins consortium, eliminates fines

Submitted article

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Public Library has switched circulation systems for the first time in 17 years.

“Seventeen years is a long time to stay with one computer program,” said Library Director Joe Knueven.

The new system will be part of a larger system used by 12 other libraries around Ohio called the Consortium of Ohio Libraries, or COOL. The Blanchester Public Library is also a part of COOL.

“Where previously our patrons had access to just two libraries in our catalog, they will now have access to 14,” Knueven said.

As part of this change, the Wilmington Public Library will begin automatic renewals and eliminate overdue fines on all items.

“I think fines do more harm than good for the library,” said the library director. In place of fines, the library will put a stop on a patron’s card when one or more items become overdue.

If items are never returned, the patron will be charged a billing fee and if necessary, referred to a collection agency.

“I think this setup will be far easier for our patrons, while maintaining good stewardship of public resources,” Knueven added.

Knueven estimated fines accounted for about ½ of 1 percent of the library’s annual revenue.

“As for automatic renewals,” he continued, “new items will automatically renew one time, all other items five times.”

Patrons will receive an email notice showing all items that renewed successfully and any that did not. These emails will also show the new due date for those items that successfully renewed.

For more information, please visit the library’s website at www.wilmington.lib.oh.us or give the library a call at 937-382-2417 for the Wilmington location, or 937-289-1079 for the Clinton-Massie branch site.

Submitted article