It’s been two months since Siouxland Libraries re-opened to the public after closing due to the pandemic back in March. As things slowly return to normal, it also means library users could start facing fees once again.
“I love the library, great supporter of the library, I love to read and I think during the pandemic reading has kept me sane, so yes its vital,” Siouxland Library user Diane Helvig said.
“It just offers so many services that we take for granted and then when I didn’t have them I really missed the library,” Helvig said.
Like many people, she had several books already checked out when the library closed its doors in March.
“Our thoughts immediately went to our customers because we knew we had 80,000 items checked out at that time and we knew those folks were staying at home and could possibly face large fines because of their library materials,” Siouxland Libraries Director Jodi Fick said.
It’s why Siouxland Libraries automatically pushed everyone’s due date back to a month after the library re-opened.
“We reopened in early June and set the due date to July 13th, and because people still are not quire ready to be back, we’re giving people a 10 day grace period too. So after their due date, we still let people know their books are due within 10 days,” Fick said.
But now that date and the grace period have come and gone, which means if you still have some library materials lying around the house from March, you could start seeing some fees.
“All adult materials do get fined, it is 25 cents a day for the majority of things, we do do a dollar a day for three day movie rentals,” Fick said.
Children and teen materials are not subject to fines, but due to the unique nature of the pandemic, even adult materials that are far past their due date can be flexible.
“If you still have something that you’ve had since before we shut down with covid, bring it back in, we’ll work with you, we want to make sure that you have access to the library,” Fick said.
Any material that’s been checked out since the library re-opened in June is now subject to the regular return and late fee policy. Fick also shared the reminder that most books can automatically be renewed online to help avoid any late fees.