Overdues, Fines and Fees FAQ

Davenport Public Library is supported by the City of Davenport general property tax levy and by a special library support levy approved by the citizens of Davenport. When items are not returned, it affects the quality of service provided to all citizens.

As part of the Library's efforts to have materials returned, those patrons who do not return items are referred to a collection agency. Please refer to the FAQ's below for more details.

01. Why does Davenport Public Library (DPL) use a collection agency? Like most leading libraries across the country, DPL protects taxpayer investment in library materials by using a collection agency to encourage patrons who do not return their library materials after several reminders from the library. DPL has entered into a contract with Unique Management Services (UMS) to recover these materials for DPL.

02. Why did DPL select UMS? DPL did a study to determine how leading libraries across the country address the issue of patrons who do not return materials after several reminders; many of those libraries use Unique Management Services because UMS specializes in collections for public libraries. DPL has used other collection agencies previously, but decided to try UMS because of its lower cost, excellent range of services, and focus on libraries.

03. When would DPL refer an account to UMS? DPL would only refer an account to UMS after materials on the account were more than 60 days overdue and DPL had sent reminders to the patron to return the materials. DPL will not refer accounts with less than $25.00 in materials costs and fines outstanding.

03. What process does UMS use to recover library materials? UMS emphasizes that its key goal is to recover library materials without alienating library patrons. They use what they describe as a "gentle nudge" approach, which includes several very polite letters, and phone calls from highly trained professionals that are all focused on urging the patron to contact the library to arrange the return of the materials and/or payment.

04. Does UMS send collection agents to the homes of patrons? No. Patrons with overdue materials will be contacted by letter and phone only.

05. What happens when patrons do not return materials after receiving letters and phone calls from UMS? UMS will credit report these accounts to credit reporting agencies in North America, including TransUnion, CBI/Equifax, and TRW/Experian. UMS credit reports only as a last resort, and only after 120 days from the date the account was first referred to UMS.

06. How much does using UMS cost? UMS guarantees that its services are revenue neutral: DPL will not be billed for more money than UMS recovers for the library. So, for example, if UMS recovers $100 of materials but it costs UMS $110 dollars to recover it, DPL will only be billed for $100. This approach represents a significant cost savings to DPL and the taxpayers of Davenport.

07. How can I learn more about DPL's collection policy and UMS? For more information, please contact Stephanie Bauer at 563.328.6829 or drop by UMS's web site, http://www.unique-mgmt.com/.