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Libraries adopt uniform loan periods, fine rates

For some Washington County libraries changes are minor or already in place

In an effort to make the length of time library materials can be checked out the same - and to implement a standardized system of fines for overdue materials - most Washington County libraries have updated their rules.

On Wednesday, the majority of the libraries in the 12-member Washington County Cooperative Library Services implemented the consistent loan periods and fine rates.

'For some (affiliated members) it really wasn't a change; for some it was,' said Jodi Nielsen, senior program director for Washington County Cooperative Library Services.

She said the changes were necessary to maintain continuity throughout the public library system.

The cooperative library services system includes local libraries such as the Beaverton City Library, Cedar Mill Community Library (including the Bethany branch), Garden Home Community Library and West Slope Community Library.

Ed House, director of the Beaverton City Library, said many of the current loan periods and fines are already in place.

House said the last thing many of the county's library directors wanted was to have different material due dates and differing fine amounts.

'We try to make things as uniform as possible,' he said.

House said only minor changes were made at the Beaverton City Library.

One of the discussion items was whether DVDs could be checked out for one week or three weeks.

The consensus among most library directors was that one week was long enough, said House.

He noted that the only other major change in Beaverton was to reduce the cost of overdue VHS videocassettes from $1 a day to 15 cents a day.

The Washington County Cooperative Library Services loan period is as follows:

  • 21 days for books, audio books, CDs, magazines, VHS videocassettes and kits.
  • Seven to 21 days for DVDs (based on the discretion of individual libraries).
  • 14 days for best sellers in any format.
  • One day for cultural passes. Cultural passes include admission to such local attractions as the Portland Art Museum and the Chinese Classical Garden.

New fine rates include:

  • 15 cents per day for overdue VHS videocassettes and multi-media materials.
  • $1 per day for DVDs, reference materials, e-books and audio visual equipment.
  • $10 for one-day items such as cultural passes.

Nielsen said only Forest Grove, North Plains and the Tuality Health Resource Center don't charge fines. Whether or not to collect fines is a decision left up to individual libraries, she said.

For more information on loan periods or fine rates, call your local library or visit www.wccl.org.