Ever find a library book sitting around for who knows how long? Thoughts of mounting fines and a bit of embarrassment have been known to keep some books out even longer.


 Ever find a library book sitting around for who knows how long? Thoughts of mounting fines and a bit of embarrassment have been known to keep some books out even longer. As they have done for the last couple years, March has been declared “Amnesty Month” at the public libraries in Wayne County.
Molly Rodgers, Wayne County Library System Administrator, said that they want to tell people they need not feel embarrassed, as they know it can happen- an item may become lost or forgotten. They just would like to have the item returned, and in March they are forgiving the fine.
On top of that, if someone has accumulated a lot of fines, patrons can have it forgiven by bringing in household and personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, sponges, and cleanser for the County’s Emergency Pantry.
She added it was not only a problem in Wayne County, but is part of running a lending library anywhere.
She said in a press release that for everyone who might have overdue library books, videos, music disks, and audiobooks hiding in houses or offices, riding in cars, or sitting next to beds, now is the time to find those items and return them with no fines.  “Even if items were due years ago and guilt has set in, the libraries just want to get children and adults back as a customers and get the materials back for others to use,” she stated.
Rodgers said that the current overdue fine is 15 cents a day for printed material, and $1 a day for a DVD or video. This can add up fast, although she noted they set a maximum fine of the value of the item.
If someone knows they lost the book or other item, during March they can bring in a donation for the Emergency Patron rather than face a charge for the item’s value.
When bringing in a donation for the Emergency Patron, each item must be in their original sealed packaging. For each item donated, the libraries will forgive $4 in outstanding fines. 
Amnesty Month has been very successful in pats years, and the libraries have seen many books and other items that are valuable or wanted by another patron. Rodgers estimated that each month they send out 90 to 100 overdue notices.
She said that patrons can return items to any library in the county day or night and the items will be delivered to the correct home library. Fines can be forgiven at any library as well. For winter schedules of open hours and for more information, please visit www.waynelibraries.org or call your nearest public library: Bethany (253-4349), Hawley (226-4620), Hamlin (689-0903), Honesdale (253-1220), Lakewood (798-2444), Newfoundland (676-4518), and Pleasant Mount (448-2573).