During the month of November, the Boston Public Library is waiving all fees associated with long-overdue library material, including books, DVD’s and CD’s.
Whether a book is one day late, one year late, or more, the three-week fine waiver runs from November 1 through Thanksgiving and applies to library patrons of all ages.
When BostInno found out that Boston readers are keeping books to themselves and not returning them to the shelves of the public library, we decided to find out what the most overdue books were.
According to library staff, among the top titles most often overdue in the Boston Public Library system are Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight,” and “Breaking Dawn,” the vampire-meets-werewolf-meets-human love triangle tales turned Hollywood superfilms.
Meyer’s titles are trailed by three Jeff Kinney titles from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, library staff told BostInno.
When asked by BostInno why the bestselling “50 Shades of Grey” wasn’t on the most overdue list, Michael R. Colford, director of library services at BPL, said it was probably because the sexy-fiction series is a “quick read.”
“We have hundreds of people on the waiting list for this book, both in print and in e-book format,” he said. “It’s less likely that people will need more time reading it and hence, return it on time.”
Colford said there are a number of reasons people don’t return books, specifically because they either forget, or take a longer time to get through a novel.
According to library officials, for adult materials, fines accrue at ten cents each day late up to a maximum fine of $5. Anyone with $10 of fines on their library account is unable to renew or borrow materials.
But the drive isn’t just about replenishing the library’s stock.
Colford said by waiving the fees for overdue books, it also brings back readers that library staff want to influence most in the city when it comes to burying their noses between the binded pages.
“What is terrific about this overdue book drive is that, given the strong presence of books for youth and teens at the top of this list, it’s reaching the users we most want to return to the library. Overdue fines are effectively a barrier to use, particularly among school-age kids. This is a great opportunity to bring them back to the library,” said Colford.
Beyond the most overdue books, BostInno asked what the most popular reads in the Hub were.
The Boston Public Library publishes lists each month of the most frequently-borrowed fiction books, nonfiction books, and DVDs, so they can track what readers want most.
Below are lists of what people in Boston are reading and watching the most:
In September 2012, the top fiction books were:
- “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
- “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
- “Gone Girl” by Gillan Flynn
- “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins
- “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman
In September 2012, the top nonfiction books were:
- “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson
- “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
- “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
- “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson
- “More True Stories” by Sandra Heyer
In September 2012, the top DVDs were:
- Midnight in Paris
- The Descendants
Among the top titles most often overdue in the Boston Public Library system are two Stephanie Meyer titles and three Jeff Kinney titles:
- “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer
- “Breaking Dawn” by Stephanie Meyer
- “Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Rodrick Rules” by Jeff Kinney
- “Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Last Straw” by Jeff Kinney
- “Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Greg Heffley’s Journal” by Jeff Kinney