Here's a library in Queens that has an idea that will either have you applauding or recoiling: They refer library late fees to a collection agency.
For bigger library systems that lend out things like musical scores and CDs, being more stringent about this sort of thing does make sense. The hard part, as the article explains, is getting people to use the system without abusing the system — and also punishing those abuses without scaring them clean off.
I've had more than my fair share of library late fees — including (most embarrassingly) a book that slipped between the pages of another, larger book and went missing for months on end. I was prepared to pay up to replace it entirely when one day I pulled the bigger book off the shelf, wondering why it had this funny bulge. The missing book landed on my feet and I spent minutes on end laughing at myself.