Hennepin library fines total $3.5 million in two years. (Star-Tribune, 6/21/2011)
Excerpt: Last year, Hennepin County's 41 libraries collected almost $1.7 million in fines on overdue or lost materials. In 2009, fine revenue was more than $1.8 million.
Sharon Charles, manager of the community and patron services division, said it's library policy that "individuals are responsible and accountable for the materials they borrow. When materials are returned late, they are not available to others, so fines and service fees are levied as incentive for the public to return materials on time.
"The demand for library resources is great, and fines ... help the library meet that demand.''
Charles answered questions about how fines are set, how Hennepin County's penalties compare to those in other library systems, and about how much library users pay if they lose a book.