San Francisco Public Libraries awarded for book-return drive 

The San Francisco Public Libraries campaign to retrieve thousands of overdue books last year was honored for its innovation and achievement.

This past weekend, the library was given the National John Cotton Dana Award
at the American Library Association Annual Conference for the 2009 amnesty program.

The amnesty campaign, known as “Return the Books,” allowed patrons to return materials to the library without having to pay their overdue fines.

The campaign led to the library’s recovery of more than 29,000 items, totaling $730,000 over a two-week period in May 2009, which was more than expected.

Many items returned were more than 60 days past due, but one of the oldest was a copy of George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman” with a due date of Jan.29, 1964.

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