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Maine libraries are missing countless books and they want them back

Do you have a library book that is long overdue? If so, your local library wants it back.

As the Orrington Public Library prepares to conduct its summer inventory, it posted a public appeal on Facebook last week asking people to return their overdue books. While director Kelly Bay isn't sure how many books are missing yet – it's “a lot” – replacing those books would cost money to buy new books.

When books and other materials are lost, not only does it prevent other patrons from using them, but replacing the items can also have a negative financial impact on libraries' bottom lines – especially for older books that may no longer be in print. These expenses have become even more burdensome following the pandemic, as rising costs due to inflation mean that smaller libraries do not always have the budget to replace lost books.

Anna Harden

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