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Library changes fine penalty from warrants to collections

(Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

A total of 565 people in Myrtle Beach have warrants out for missing library books, but the city has a new system to collect fines.

"If you see your name on our P2C website for failure to return a library book, it's simply a notice that you need to appear in court to resolve this matter," said Captain Joey Crosby from the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Up until April 1, if you did not turn in your book or pay your fines, you got an arrest warrant.

"There's not going to be some type of special operation or sting to round up all of these individuals, it's simply just a matter that needs to be resolved. We just ask that you get your court date, come to court and resolve your issues with the city and the library," said Crosby.

Now, the library has a new system.

"We don't want anything to stop people from walking through these doors," said Chapin Memorial Library Director Jennifer Nassar.

They now work with a collections agency.

"It takes four months before it goes to the collection agency. And that agency is really good about reminding people. They call it the gentle nudge service," said Nassar.

A gentle nudge instead of a push from police.

"It just removes obstacles for people to be able to come to the library, get what they want and not be afraid to bring in their families, and come in and get the library resources that they need," said Nassar.

But people who owe money from before the change still have a warrant.

"It's not an arrestable offense. What is an arrestable offense is if you don't take care of the matter or you fail to appear for your court appearance," said Crosby.

"We don't want anyone to be afraid of the library. We dont want anyone to be afraid to come in and use any of our resources," said Nassar.

You can go to Myrtle Beach's P2C website to see if you have a warrant.

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