Throwing the book at them

Source: New York Times (Free Registration)

It turns out the library can do more than just shush you. If you accumulate enough unpaid late fees, some New York libraries are ready to hit you where it really hurts: your credit score. They have reported millions of dollars in such bad debts. Most people make good before their creditworthiness is damaged. But there is something chilling in this kind of threat from a library. The Queens Library system, the nation’s largest in circulation, has been using a collection agency for more than a decade to help it get back missing library materials, and to extract unpaid fines. The program has brought in more than $11 million so far — a lot of money for a financially strapped urban library system.

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