As part of its response to severe budget cuts, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library system is raising fines and fees and changing services starting Jan. 1.
Overdue fines for books, CDs and audio books will increase by 5 cents, and it will cost a bit more to replace a library card or make black and white copies, as well as a host of other increases to certain services.
“Our policy changes reflect difficult decisions about more limited services that the library is able to deliver to the public based on funds and staffing,” Director of Library Experiences David Singleton said in a news release. “We hope the new fines and fees schedule will encourage the timely return of books and materials so that the next person in line can check out the item, optimizing access for the increasing number of people using the library.”
Library cardholders can access information about their accounts anytime from the library website, www.cmlibrary.org, or by calling 704-416-7363 with their library card number.
Here’s a complete list of the changes:
• The daily fine for most overdue items, including books, CDs and audio books increases from 20 to 25 cents a day. Overdue fines for DVDs will remain $1 per day.
• The maximum amount anyone can carry on his or her account and still check out books or use library computers decreases from $10 to $5.
• The number of items an individual can have on hold drops from 20 to 10. The number of interlibrary loan requests an individual can make will change from 10 to 5.
• The fee for replacing a library card increases from $2 to $3.
• The per-page charge for black-and-white prints from library computers will increase from 10 to 20 cents per page. Color printing will decrease from $1 per page to 50 cents per page. Black and white photocopies will increase from 15 to 20 cents per page.
• The library will now charge a fee for proctoring exams of $30 per test plus any incidental fees.
• Nonprofit organizations will be charged one-half of the rate charged to for-profit organizations. The new for-profit charges are in line with charges from peer library systems and remain less than the market rate for meeting room space. Library and government agencies’ rates are still free.