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Denver Public Library to crack down on scofflaws in 2010

Attention literary scofflaws, Anne of Green Gables hoarders and people-who-lose-shit-in-the-backseats-of-their cars! The Denver Public Library is out to teach you a lesson in 2010, and the lesson goes a little something like this: Borrowing library books is a privilege, not a right -- and if you eff with that privilege, it will be taken away from you.

In other words: no books for you.

Starting on January 1, library patrons' borrowing privileges will be blocked if they owe more than $5 in overdue fines. That's twice as strict as they were this year; in 2009, patrons had to rack up $10 in fines before they landed on the library's naughty list.

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In an announcement on the DPL website, library officials justify the crackdown:

DPL charges fines and fees to encourage prompt return of shared materials so that they can be made available to others. The updated collection practice better positions the Library to recover losses resulting from overdue fines.

"Denver Public Library has lowered the block amount from $10 to $5 to encourage fine resolution before totals become unmanageable," said Jennifer Hoffman, manager of Books and Borrowing. "We're working to address large balances of uncollected fines and to be proactive in the collection of fine revenue."

The fine for an overdue book is 25 cents per day. That means you'd have to hoard Anne of Green Gables for twenty extra days in order to reach the no-no limit.

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