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No need to renew your library book

Library officials in Lackawanna County are trying to take some of the stress out of checking out a book.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Good news for readers who like to take their time while diving into a good book: Lackawanna County libraries will no longer require you to renew to keep your books, movies, or games a bit longer.

It's called Auto-Renew, and it's part of an effort to draw in more library patrons by removing one of the annoying parts of borrowing a book.

As long as the library has up-to-date contact information, patrons will receive an email or text when their automatic renewal goes through.

"It takes a lot of that—remembering to renew, to call or to text or go online—it's just more convenient to have that done automatically for you," said Jess Serrenti at the Albright Memorial Library in Scranton.

But what does Auto-Renew mean for those dreaded library late charges?

Scott Thomas, CEO of the Albright Memorial Library in downtown Scranton, says late fees may soon go away for good.

"Many libraries, many of us feel that late fees are an impediment to service. And the people who need us the most are the people who can't afford to pay them," Thomas said.

The Lackawanna County Library System has had discussions about following the big wigs like the New York Public Library and abolishing all late fees.

"Is this the first step in that direction? I can't say that definitively, but it is going down that road a bit, yes."

There are some exemptions to the Auto-Renew program, including books and movies on a wait list, but most library items are eligible.

Auto-Renew extends to the Scranton Children's Library and all the libraries in Lackawanna County. It goes into effect on February 1.

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