Arlington, VA

Arlington Public Library is piloting an automatic book renewal system.

Starting Monday, libraries in Arlington will begin renewing checked-out books without patrons needing to renew them online or in person.

“We want patrons to enjoy their reading and leisure time and not worry about overdue items,” library spokesman Henrik Sundqvist told ARLnow.

The program will only be for print books — not e-books. Automatic renewals won’t kick in if another patron places a hold on the book.

“At Arlington Public Library, we constantly seek to improve customer experiences by providing easy-to-use services and resources, said the system’s head of Materials and Technology Management, Peter Petruski.

APL is also increasing the overall renewal limit on items to three renewals.

Libraries across the country are testing automatic renewals as a way to reduce the fines patrons incur. Sundqvist said now that the library’s technology makes it possible, APL wanted to test the idea as well in Arlington.

Sundqvist said the library system will be keeping a close eye on the program over the summer and welcomes patrons’ feedback.

“We understand that our community is busy and we want to make using the library easy,” he said.

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