UPDATE: Assembly approves expanding library collection powers

UPDATED Tuesday, February 16, 2016---5:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has approved a bill that would give libraries more power to collect overdue fines.

The measure would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers' identities so libraries could report them to collection agencies and police.

Supporters say the bill would create a uniform standard for handling delinquent borrowers. According to the Wisconsin Library Association, right now different municipalities are advising libraries to use different strategies, including assigning librarians to make calls, referring borrowers to collection agencies and contacting police. It's unclear whether those tactics are legal under the state's borrower privacy laws.

The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote with no debate Tuesday. The Senate approved it last week. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 9, 2016---4:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved a bill that would give libraries more power to collect overdue fines.

The measure would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers' identities so libraries could report them to collection agencies and police.

Supporters say the bill would create a uniform standard for going after delinquent borrowers. According to the Wisconsin Library Association, right now different municipalities are advising libraries to use different strategies, including assigning librarians to make calls, referring borrowers to collection agencies and contacting police. It's unclear whether those tactics are legal under the state's borrower privacy laws.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. It goes now to the state Assembly.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press

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Posted: Tuesday, February 9. 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate is poised to vote on a bill that would give libraries more power to collect overdue fines.

The measure would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers' identities so libraries could report them to collection agencies and police.

Supporters say the bill would create a uniform standard for going after delinquent borrowers. According to the Wisconsin Library Association, right now different municipalities are advising libraries to use different strategies, including assigning librarians to make calls, referring borrowers to collection agencies and contacting police. It's unclear whether those tactics are legal under the state's borrower privacy laws.

The Senate is set to vote on the measure during a floor session scheduled to begin Tuesday morning. Approval would send the bill to the state Assembly.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press
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Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016---2:03 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative committee has approved a bill that would allow libraries to use the police and collection agencies to reclaim overdue materials and collect fines.

The bill allows libraries to report borrowers who haven't returned their materials to collection agencies. They also could report them to police if the overdue materials are worth at least $50.

The bill also would carve out an exception to privacy laws that protect the identity of borrowers so libraries could give collectors and police borrowers' names, contact information and amount owed.

The Senate's local government committee approved the bill unanimously Tuesday. The vote clears the way for a vote on the full Senate floor.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press