New bill to help libraries to crack down on overdue accounts

Wisconsin Libraries are cracking down on over-due books with the help of Wisconsin Lawmakers.

A new circulating the state capital would allow all Wisconsin libraries to use collection agencies when books are overdue. Libraries could also  use police to help collect overdue books valued at $50 or more.

The system is something the La Crosse Library has been using for quite some time.

In the past year,  the collection services has helped recover nearly $20,000 in both late fees and books.

The library’s director says using a collection agency is the last step taken to retrieve materials. 

“It is a three step process that lasts over 31 one days, after an item after an item is already over due, before it’s turned over to a collection agency,” said Kelly Krieg-Sigman.

Once an overdue account is given to the collection agency, it takes close to 60 days until it’s reported to the credit bureau.

The bill would limit the information provided to agencies, for example, the account holders name, address, and fines owed.