Public librarys are becoming to expensive to use. The fine for an out of date book in my local library is now 10p per day per book. So a week late on 10 books is around £7.00 in fines. Im personally estimating im spending around £40.00 pounds a year on library fines. I also discovered they changed the loan period of the books to 3 weeks without informing me I was presuming it was a month. thereby getting caught by a week most of the time. Now if we compare public librarys dvd hire services with other commercial services such as ilovefilm video rental, librarys no longer look that cheap either.
I think Librarys used to be the jewel in the crown of free public services, and they as all public services are evolving into private self funding entitys, with all these public services slowly evolving into self supporting entities with their own revenue streams you would have thought our tax burden would go down also, I wonder where the money free’d up from library provision funding is going to ? Librarys used to have amnesty’s ? But sadly this great tradition has also ended, when you mention the possibility to library staff in london, they tend to look blankly at you from behind the counter as though theyve never heard of such things, again the further degradation of culture.
Allot of the books that I take out are poetry books and tech books. If i took my seven pounds in fines I could buy all the poetry books and half the tech books second hand from charity shops and I would also have the book as an asset at the end of the experience to recuperate value back from at some point later by its sale. This and other factors are convincing me that librarys are beginning to shoots themselves in the foot if they begin to get more expensive to use we may move to a situation in which people stop using the local library just in case they or theyre children lead to a possiblilty of fines and theyreby its simpler not to take books to avoid expense of being late, im sure some young mums with lots of kids have already taken this decision.
The point of fines at a library is to encourage you to bring the books back to avoid further fines it is not to price them in such a way whereby it deters you from loaning or returning in the first place, and certainly should not be seen as a large revenue making stream for the library itself ? ultimately if fines deter some people from taking books out, this will lead to low library use which will eventually be used as a reason to close them. Because of Fines its now beginning to become possible that someone could set up a library lending service through the mail, that was better value monetarily for the library user that often gets fined or even that is may soon be better to just buy the books second hand that a person is interested in reading. And How unecologically sound is that, that it is better to own the books as an individual than borrow them from a public library, but its again a sign of the immense power of cheap consumerism convincing us that buying more is the best solution.
Library reform Campaign demands:
All possible fines on libary books should be capped country wide at 4p per day
amnestys should occur no less than 3 times a year and should be publicised
Lending period for non reference books should be standardised to a 30 day period for all books countrywide.
the period of extension allowable on a first lending period should be clearly stated on the main desk of the library, and should be no less than 30 days.
The bulk of costs involved in running a library should always be provided through public provision from the tax purse, to maintain the spirit of for the public provision of such entitys.