books-thumbThe San Bernardino County Library System will, in the month of July, offer 50% amnesty to those who have overdue fines so, come Wednesday, these outstanding fees can be settled for half of what is owed. The County’s Head Librarian Ed Kieczykowski says, “We have over $1 million in outstanding overdue fines that are a year or less overdue. The average amount these people owe is just over $20, and as long as they owe more than $10, their lending privileges are suspended. Now they can restore their account to good standing by paying just half their outstanding balance.” Prompted by amnesty programs in other jurisdictions, the overdue fee settlements will benefit both the Big Bear Library and patrons as, once debts are settled, patrons will once again be able to borrow materials from the library, and the library gets back expensive materials for the use of others and can purchase new books with the income from fines. Due to budget cuts, the library’s budget for new materials has been slashed, per the County. The amnesty program for the County Library System will only be in place through the month of July and, once over, overdue fines and delinquent accounts may be reported to credit rating bureaus; fines can be paid at any of the County’s 30 libraries or online using PayPal. The Big Bear Library, located at 41930 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake, is open on Mondays and Tuesdays from noon to 8pm, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 6pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.