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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Merida English Library pleads for the return of 210 overdue books

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The Mérida English Library. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Lockdown and travel restrictions beginning over two years ago are partly attributed to the loss of 210 books the Merida English Library lent to members.

To replace the books, MEL would need 94,500 pesos, which is 545% more than their acquisition budget.

In September, members with long-overdue books were sent reminder emails in hopes that a flood of returns would result.

“Unfortunately, for the most part, this has not happened,” organizers in today’s MEL newsletter. 

The average replacement cost of a library book in Mexico is 450 pesos, according to Janelle Masden, a library collection committee member who searched online to find the best deals on gently used hardcover and paperback books. Usually, if the books are ordered from the U.S., someone on the committee will ask a friend or relative to bring the books down for us, the newsletter stated.

“Many of the missing books will never be replaced because of obvious budget constraints, or because they are out of print. The decision to replace books also limits our ability to purchase requested new titles and other books that are currently best sellers,” MEL continued.

Hoping to encourage returns before the end of the year, MEL is increasing lost-book fines from 50 to 500 pesos on Jan. 1.

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