Brooklyn Public Library hauls in $1.6 million in overdue fines--but $300M in repairs await

This fine news isn’t enough to help fund much-needed repairs at the cash-strapped Brooklyn Public Library.

The library hauled in $1.6 million in fines in 2013, but that’s chump change for a system that needs $300 million dollars in restoration work.

The fines were also slightly down from the $1.9 million collected in 2012. That’s in part due to an increase in e-books, which automatically disappear from the digital devices on their due date.

Still, library officials said last year’s total was about right.

“The amount of fines collected varies from year to year, and the number for 2013 . . . is well within the normal variation,” said library spokeswoman Emma Woods. “This variation is caused by a variety of factors, but the change between 2012 and 2013 is not significant enough to attribute to any one factor.”

With e-books accounting for about 2% of the libary’s total circulation of 19,254,167 books, DVDs and magazines, most readers continue to check out traditional paper materials. The library bills 25 cents per day for late books checked out by adults, and 10 cents per day for books from the children’s area. Patrons get hit with a buck-a-day fine for late CDs, and DVDs cost $2.

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