Sometimes due dates can slip people's minds and they forget to return their books to the library, or they may even choose to keep them forever.
In the City of Myrtle Beach, over 500 people are listed on the Myrtle Beach Police Department's wanted list for doing just that — failing to return borrowed books and other materials from Chapin Memorial Library, the city's only library.
In fact, those who are listed as offenders are issued courtesy arrest warrants. But don't be alarmed if you see your name on there, a courtesy arrest warrant is simply a notice to appear in court, according to Capt. Joey Crosby with MBPD.
"It's not something someone gets jail time for," Crosby said.
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And it's a simple fix to get your name off there — just contact Myrtle Beach's clerk of court office to receive your court date and pay your balance.
"Generally, if they return the books and pay the overdue fine, it just goes to court and the judge dismisses it and there's no fees other than that," said Deb Warrington, Chapin Memorial Library's circulation supervisor. "But if they don't show up for court when the case is assigned to them, then they could get a bench warrant deemed by the judge."
Warrington said most people have the materials for about four months before it gets reported. Up until April 1 of this year, she said the library's policy had always been notifying the patron before contacting police.
"In the past, after we've called the person and sent two overdue notices, and then called them again, we just filled out a courtesy warrant request and the police picked that up and handled the rest," she added.
Now, she said, a collections agency specializing in library fines called Unique Management Services handles reports of unreturned library materials.
But those who are currently listed on MBPD's website still need to go to court to get the warrant released, Warrington added.
"If they got picked up for something else, like running a stop sign or speeding, they would be told at that time, 'oh, by the way, you do have a courtesy warrant under unreturned library books,' so they would have to go to court for that," she said.
Warrington said patrons not returning borrowed library materials is a widespread problem.
"It's typical of libraries," she explained. "Unfortunately, people sometimes don't consider checking a book out and not returning it a problem, but it is. We just want our books back so other people can check them out."
To check if your name is on the list, visit MBPD's wanted list by clicking here. If you do see your name, you may contact Myrtle Beach's clerk of court office at 843-918-1356.
Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles