Library Accounts Receivable (5.102)

Scope

This policy applies to library accounts with monies owing to Bellingham Public Library.

Definitions

Accounts receivable: Money owed to the library on a library account for which payment has not been received.
Uncollectible: Money owed on accounts unlikely to be collected, according to established criteria.
Write-off: Removal of the debt from library records and the City of Bellingham accounts receivable balance.

Policy/Conditions

The Library expects that library materials are returned on time and are available for use by the public. Several steps are taken to ensure that loaned materials are returned, or that payment is received for lost and damaged materials.

The Library is responsible to determine when library accounts are considered uncollectible and should be written off to ensure a fair representation of accounts receivable.

  1. The Library provides due dates for loaned materials
  • Accountholders are provided with due dates when materials are borrowed.
  • The Library sends notices at regular intervals when materials are overdue. These notices inform the patron of the need to return the materials and the potential for charges to be incurred.
  1. The Library notifies accountholders of monies owed
  • Accountholders are advised of charges on accounts by staff when using the library, as well as when accessing accounts online.
  • A billing notice will be sent to the address on the library account when the balance exceeds the established threshold as documented in procedures.
  • Accountholders are unable to access some library services when the balance exceeds the established threshold as documented in procedures.
  1. The Library may utilize a collection service to recover library materials and monies owed
  • Accounts with unpaid balances that exceed the established threshold, as documented in procedures, are sent to a collection service to continue contact.
  • The collection service makes every reasonable effort to contact library accountholders by phone and by mail to request materials be returned and outstanding balances be paid.
  1. The Library writes-off unpaid charges when they are determined to be uncollectible
  • A charge is considered uncollectible when any of the following conditions are met:
    • It was incurred more than six (6) years ago.
    • The Library collection service was unsuccessful in resolving the charge, and the charge was incurred more than six (6) years ago.
    • The Library has received notification that the accountholder has a discharged bankruptcy.
    • The Library has received notification that the accountholder is deceased.

References

Title: 5.102 Library Accounts Receivable Policy
Code: 5 Circulation Services
Chapter: 5.100 Circulation records
Type of Policy: Departmental
Date Developed: February 27, 2007
Date Revised: August 20, 2019
Revised by: Jennifer Vander Ploeg
Developed by: Iris Kaneshige
Approved By: Library Board of Trustees