Whitewright library offering amnesty on overdue items

The Whitewright Public Library is urging its patrons to start the new year off with a clean slate by taking advantage of Fine Amnesty Month in January.

“If you have long overdue library materials in good condition, please return them,” Executive Director Chris Ely said. “Bring them to the library during business hours, or drop them in the book or video drop boxes. Just bring them back. We miss them.”

Each year the Whitewright Public Library loses a number of books and other items. Some of those items are legitimately lost and will never be recovered, but the vast majority — according to Ely — are still in the possession of the original borrower.

“What makes these losses especially difficult is their effect on other borrowers,” the executive director said. “Imagine the frustration of a student who desperately needs a particular volume to complete a project but finds the book is lost. And replacing a missing book often means less funds are available to purchase new items.”

During the library’s Fine Amnesty Month, all fines for items due before December 31, 2012 will be forgiven — whether the item is overdue one week or many years. Materials being returned need to be in good condition, as replacement fees for damaged materials will not be waived. Amnesty does not apply to fines on materials previously returned.

“We forgive you,” Ely said. “No questions asked.”

The Whitewright Public Library is located at 200 W. Grand St. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. More information about the amnesty on overdue library materials can be obtained by calling 903-364-2955.