July 1 marks the beginning of a new budget cycle for the city of Champaign and a new overdue fine era for the Champaign Public Library.
Fines are doubling -- from 10 cents to 20 cents per day for standard items -- starting Thursday. It's the first time the library has increased overdue fines since 1992.
Library Director Marsha Grove says demand has increased since the new facility opened in January 2008 -- 50 percent more items have been checked out -- and costs have outpaced property tax revenue.
So here comes a doubling of overdue fines.
Those with books currently overdue shouldn't worry too much. Your indebtedness to the library won't double overnight (disclaimer: probably a good idea to get those books back ASAP, anyway). For example, if your book was overdue beginning Tuesday and you return it Friday, you'll be charged 10 cents for Tuesday and Wednesday and 20 cents for Thursday and every day from there on out.
But that doesn't mean we can't memorialize the days when Cubs bleacher tickets were a quarter and overdue fines were only two cents per day.