If there’s an overdue book laying around that hasn’t made its way back to Frank Steely Library yet, April 15 is the day to return it. Dubbed ‘Amnesty Day,’ Northern Kentucky University’s library is forgiving all past-due fines for materials returned on that day only.
Amnesty Day is part of weeklong festivities celebrating National Library Week. Craig Person, a library manager at Steely Library, explained that any materials checked out are included in the amnesty. The only exclusions are books and materials from the Chase Law Library located in Nunn Hall.
Jenny Smith, a librarian who has been at Steely Library for 26 years, said that the library has held similar events in the past, but hasn’t in decades because of budget restrictions. ‘We mostly want to get our books back,’ Smith said.
The most popular genres for missing books are nursing, graphic novels, computer programming and art and photography, Person said.
‘You won’t walk down the aisles and notice big gaping holes in the collections,’ Person said, but noted that there are a ‘few thousand’ books from the last several years that are still outstanding.
Both Person and Smith credit the missing books to people who have the books too long and then are either embarrassed to return them or simply do not want to deal with the fines. However, fines can turn into holds in Norse Express for students.
Once a book has been out for three months, it enters a lost status. At that point, the fines due for the book are at least $85 and students are blocked from registering for classes and getting their transcripts. If a student has more than $20 in fines, he or she is blocked from getting a transcript, but can still register for classes.
Fines accrue at the rate of $0.50 per day. There is a five-day grace period when books can be returned without charge, but anything returned after that is subject to the full fines beginning with the first day the materials were late. The maximum charge for a book is $15, unless it has been out for three months or more.
In conjunction with national library week, Steely Library is hosting an open house at 2 p.m. April 15 on the third floor of the library that will begin with a cake reception and finish with a guided tour of Steely Library. There is also a book exchange that is open from April 13-17 on the third floor. Anyone can trade in used books for other used books available in the exchange. ‘