The Phoenix Public Library has more than 40,000 overdue materials, including books, CDs, audio cassettes and videos.
The outstanding fees total about $4.3 million, which includes money owed to the library and a collection agency, according to city officials.
It’s a problem every library faces. And for Phoenix, which has 17 branches and a collection of 1.8 million items, getting all those items back isn’t always easy. The staff has made minor tweaks to its policies from time to time to try to curb the behavior.
About 50.8 million people visited one of the Phoenix libraries in the 10 years from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2012.
Over the same time, customers checked out 156million items. As of Nov. 6, 40,500 of those library items have not been returned.
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