Materials Recovery Frequently Asked Questions

What is Materials Recovery?

Materials Recovery is the process of retrieving overdue Library materials and collecting fines. The Clermont County Public Library (CCPL) began using the services of Unique National Collections to handle customer accounts with overdues or fines exceeding $25 for over 35 days.

Who is Unique National Collections?

Unique National Collections is not a traditional collection agency because its customer base consists strictly of libraries. The company partners with libraries across the United States and Canada to recover overdue materials and monies. The company understands the special needs for a polite yet effective approach that does not alienate customers.

What happens when I have an overdue item?

  • When a customer checks out materials from the library, they receive a printed list of items checked out.
  • Seven days past the due date, CCPL sends a notification via email or telephone.
  • Fourteen days past due, CCPL sends a second overdue notice.
  • Twenty-one days past the due date, the account is billed the replacement cost of the unreturned material.
  • Thirty-five days past the due date, the account is turned over to Unique National Collections if fines or value of the materials if $25 or more and arrangements have not been made with the library to pay the amount billed.
  • A $10 processing fee is added to the account.

How does Unique National Collections handle an account?

Unique National Collections contacts the customer using the following process:

  • Day 36 past due date: 1st letter
  • Day 52 past due date: 2nd letter
  • Day 70-93: Initial placement phone calls
  • Day 100: Secondary placement 3rd letter
  • Day 114-126: Secondary placement phone calls
  • Day 155-186: Credit reported

Isn't CCPL spending more money using a collection agency than by try to collect overdues itself?

No. Unique National Collections' costs are defrayed by the $10 process fee added to the accounts. The company does not charge in advance and no capital expenditure is required by the library.

Why is CCPL concerned about overdue items?

It is necessary that the library make every effort to use our resources to benefit the entire community. When material is not returned, it's not just the library that loses. Everyone in the community loses those resources, too.

What action can I take to avoid overdues?

  • Put the dates that your items are due in a prominent place.
  • Sign up for email and text notifications by visiting or calling your local library or through your online account.
  • Items can be renewed as long as there are no holds and your account is in good standing. You can renew items online or by visiting or calling your local branch.
  • After-hours return boxes are conveniently located at all ten branches. If your library is closed and your materials are due, you can place them in the drop off box.
  • A drive-through return is available at the Bethel Branch.

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