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Glendale renews deal to track down tardy library borrowers

PHOENIX — Overdue library books and DVDs could come back to haunt some Glendale residents.

The city council recently renewed a deal with a collection agency to track down people with overdue accounts.

“It’s basically stealing if you never return them,” said Chief Librarian Cheryl Kennedy. “And then you’re keeping them from other patrons being able to check them out.”

The city pays Unique Management Services Inc. $8.95 to pursue each overdue account. Kennedy said, in the last year, they submitted nearly 2,800 accounts and got back more than $110,000 in fines, fees and materials.

“For every $1 that we spend, we get back three-and-a-half times that,” she said.

Kennedy said the library will work out payment plans for anyone who owes more than $30.

She said DVDs are the most commonly kept items.