GROVE, Okla. - The Eastern Oklahoma District Library System, or EODLS, is embarking on a new, exciting future.

Tuesday, January 28, the Board of Trustees decided to eliminate overdue fines for late returns of library DVDs and equipment. The Board joins the ranks of many libraries across the country who have decided overdue fines just do not pay off. The EODLS is also the first in the state of Oklahoma.

Studies show that library fines do not ensure borrowers bring back items any more than does a gentle reminder. Most people who have kept a library item past its due date have simply forgotten that they have the item or when it was supposed to get back to the library. The libraries in the EODLS decided it was time to close the book on fines.

A new system will be put in place to send texts letting borrowers know that an item is soon due. Text and e-mails will also be sent if they have kept an item too long. No overdue fines will be charged. But, if an item is kept for a month- it will be considered lost and a replacement cost for the item will be charged to the patron. This charge will be waived if the library item is returned in good, usable condition.

The change will go into effect on Sunday, March 1 and borrowers are encouraged to call the Grove Public Library to discuss their accounts.

The Board also voted to give every borrower a clean slate. All previous lost fees and overdue charges will be waived as well.

Staff wants to increase the number of patrons who use the library, as they believe this is one way to get patrons back and keep them coming back. It is part of the System’s new plan for the future. The vision is to create a welcoming library that inspires imagination and ideas!

"Charging borrowers for keeping a DVD an extra day isn’t very welcoming," Brenda Newnam, Branch Manager.

The library Board also approved new Bylaws that change the name of the System.

“We are dropping the word District from our name,“ said Mary Moroney, Executive Director of the System.

A public library system in Oklahoma is a special government entity. It is supported by ad valorem property tax in each county. Having the word 'District' is unnecessary.

With the name change, the staff has an opportunity to change the logo and rebrand library service. That begins with a new website. Users will find quality resources on the new website. There is still a link to the catalog and all of the electronic material that you have used before. The website will continue to evolve in the coming weeks. If you are unable to find a resource you used previously, contact the Grove Public Library for some assistance.

This is only the beginning of some exciting changes area public libraries will be making in the coming months. If you haven’t been to the library lately, stop by and see what other changes are taking place.

Library hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Library's electronic catalogue is always available at www.eols.org. The library’s mission is to empower the people in our communities by creating opportunities that enrich their lives with information, activities, and services.