Arts & Entertainment

Montville Library Increasing Fines, Seeing Borrowing Delays

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Montville Township Public Library ©2018 TAPinto Montville Credits: Melissa Benno
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MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Public Library is experiencing delays in acquiring inter-library loans from other libraries, according to an announcement on the library’s website.

This is due to problems with the new delivery service the state library has contracted with this year, Montville Township Public Library Director Allan Kleiman told TAPinto Montville.

LibraryLinkNJ, which oversees the delivery of materials between libraries in the state, is required by law to rebid its delivery services every three years, Kleiman said. This was the start of a new contract with a company called Expak – and every library in the state is affected by the delays that have resulted, he said.

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According to LibraryLinkNJ’s website, they knew about the problem before the Jan. 2 start of the contract, stating, “On December 18, we learned from Expak that the subcontractors they planned to work with in New Jersey had pulled out of their contract. While Expak worked to find a new subcontractor, we attempted to negotiate a one-week extension of service with our former vendor to handle deliveries during the first week of January. [That vendor] could not provide statewide service for that week, and we were obliged to cancel delivery service for that week.

“On Monday, January 8, Expak informed us that the new subcontractor did not have enough drivers to provide full coverage for all routes.

“Problems cascaded from there: the insufficient number of drivers and their often inadequate vehicles led to substantial backlogs of material awaiting transit,” the website stated.

Kleiman said the problems in northern NJ are compounded by the fact that the Bergen consortium of libraries and the Morris County consortium has more than 100 libraries, which is a large number compared to other areas of the state.

“Expak has informed LibraryLinkNJ that they are terminating their contract effective May 29,” Kleiman said, “but we had some relief, with materials coming in last week. The newer requests came in. We didn’t have too many patrons affected because we have such a large collection so we were able to fill requests with our materials. But older requests were ‘in transit’ for a month or more. Yes, people were disappointed but we were able to explain to everyone what was going on and everyone has been pretty understanding.”

Kleiman said a new request for proposal will go out to find a delivery service and “we have to have faith that they will find a new provider that will understand the intricacies of the state delivery system quickly.”

Fee Increase

At their Jan. 8, 2018 meeting, the Library Board of Trustees approved increased fines for patrons. These fees will go into effect Feb. 5.

When these fines exceed $5.00 or more the patron will be blocked from further borrowing at any Morris County and Bernards Township Library until the materials are returned and fines are paid,” according to the library website. Patrons must “settle their debt” before books can be borrowed or inter-library loan requests can be placed.

Kleiman said fines on books went up to 15 cents from 10 cents, because an increase has not occurred in about 10 years.

He said the fee for an overdue DVD, blu-ray disk or video game doubled to $2 per day because “we would really like people to not hold DVD’s. They’re in such high demand, we need people to bring them back quicker. Regardless of streaming services, people love DVDs.”

The library has a new color photocopying machine available for public use, and those copies are only 25 cents per page.

“We just acquired it about three weeks ago,” Kleiman said.

The library has museum passes available for patrons to borrow for free entry to local area museums such as the Morris Museum and Imagine That! kids’ museum, but also offers free passes to the Intrepid and now the Museum of Natural History and Museum of Modern Art as well.

Here is a list of the new fines and fees:

  • Overdue adult print material, 15¢ per day, $5 maximum
  • Overdue juvenile print material, 15¢ per day, $5 maximum 
  • Overdue DVD, Blu-Ray, or Video Games, $2 per day, $5 item maximum
  • Overdue Music CD, Books-on-CD, Playaways, Misc. A-V, 15¢ per day, $5 maximum 
  • Lost, stolen or damaged items, Full cost of the item, plus $10 processing fee
  • Missing bar code or RFID tag , $1 
  • Inter-library Loan (ILL) materials , Fees are determined by the loaning agency
  • Replacement of lost or stolen card, $2 
  • Returned check, Fees based upon actual return check fee bank assesses
  • Lost or damaged media case, insert or graphic $5
  • Library Card for Borrowers Not Eligible for a free or reciprocal borrowers card, $25
  • Lost single disc from a book on CD or book set, varies (full replacement value may be charged)
  • Photocopies (Black & White), 10¢ per page
  • Photocopies (color), 25¢ per page
  • Computer Print-outs (Black & White), 10¢ per page
  • Computer Print-outs (Color), 25¢ per page
  • Fax Machine, $1 per page, outgoing/incoming 
  • Museum Passes, $5 per day overdue, $25 item, maximum; lost passes stated replacement processing fee

The Montville Township Public Library website is http://www.montvillelibrary.org/.

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