As the restrictions of COVID-19 were lifting this week, some of the bibliophile members of the Boroondora Library Service received a shock email from the eastern suburbs library: Their outstanding fines had been sent to a debt collector.
The Boroonda City Council blamed its software provider for the systems error, which triggered the threatening email sent to members on Monday morning, but also confirmed that it does use debt collectors for recalcitrant members.
Adding insult to injury in this week’s instance, many members would not have been able to return books to the library for an extended period as it had been forced to close until the end of May due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“This email was the result of a system error and we can confirm, since the COVID-
19 restrictions have been in place, no library debts have been sent to debt collection and
members have not incurred any fines for unreturned library items,” the council said in a prepared statement.