After nine months of using a collection agency to pursue delinquent library patrons in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, the Los Angeles County Library has retrieved more than $175,000 in materials and fines.
Because of that success, library officials say they have expanded the approach to include four libraries in the northern county area of Antelope Valley and Lancaster.
The collection agency sent letters to delinquent patrons to regain books and other materials that were long overdue from 14 libraries.
The libraries have received $122,698 worth of materials and collected $54,641 in fines. Publicity about the project also has resulted in library patrons returning books that officials did not even know were missing, including one that had been gone for 12 years from the Baldwin Park Library.