Checking out DVDs from the library is free -- until it isn't

Checking out DVDs from the library is free -- until it isn't
Checking out DVDs from the library is free -- until it isn't

Now that Americans borrow more DVDs at the library than they rent at Netflix, according to a survey published in the Consumerist, WalletPop would like to warn you of the steep late fines lurking at your local branch. We're talking amounts that can be expressed in the Dewey Decimal system if you're not careful.

Check this out: The New York Public Library just increased its $1-a-day late DVD fee to a whopping $3 a day. "We want to encourage turnover," spokeswoman Gayle Snible told WalletPop.

New York charges a relatively modest 25 cents-a-day for books. The reason for the disparity isn't because DVDs cost more than books. A hardcover in fact can sometimes cost more. It's because DVDs are more in demand than books, Victoria Galan, spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Public Library System, explained to WalletPop.

"We look at the popularity of things and that impacts the fee schedule," she said. "DVDs, those are the hot items. The idea is to get them back on the shelf so the other people who are waiting for them can get them."