As the state faces a huge budget shorfall, many city programs are looking for anyway to make up for lost money. The Wichita Library is trying to make up for its losses by getting money back from "dead beat borrowers." The library is owed $1.2 Million in back fines, stemming from late book returns, or books that have never been returned.
That's not only causing a money crunch, but problems for people who come to the library looking for certain books. Some families say they have to wait three weeks to get the book they want. The list of books overdue for 75 days of less is massive, and it continues to grow. Library director Cynthia Burner-Harris says she does all she can to get the books back.
A KAKE On Your Side review of the fines shows the worst offenders owe big money. The top ten over-due borrowers owe the city nearly $13,400, an average of $1,300 per person. The library does send people with bills more than $40 to a collection agency after six months. But some think more should be done, including jail time for those who owe the most.