Ashamed Of That Overdue Library Book? You’re Off The Hook


You could look at it as a citywide pardon.

The Boston Public Library is kicking off what they're calling an "Overdue Book Drive" at all area branches on Thursday. This means if you have accrued any late fees they will be wiped from your record as long as you bring back what you borrowed.

Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan says people hold on to overdue books for a variety of reasons, including fear of whopping fines and a profound sense of shame. Both often stop people from returning or borrowing again.

She hopes this three-week effort will encourage Bostonians to search through their sofa cushions, bookcases and nightstands — guilt free.

“We don’t care, there’s no guilt involved,” she said sympathetically. “We really want to get our books back and encourage people to use the library.”

Late fees for CDs or DVDs will also be waived.

According to the BPL, the number of books, CDs and DVDs now overdue by a month or less is 21,000. Another 165,000 items are more than one month late.

These numbers date back to as far as the BPL can track — 1998.

The most often overdue book titles at the BPL are "Twilight," "Breaking Dawn" and a few from the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.

The overdue book drive runs from Nov. 1 through Thanksgiving.

This program aired on November 1, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Andrea Shea Correspondent, Arts & Culture
Andrea Shea is a correspondent for WBUR's arts & culture reporter.



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