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November 3rd, 2005

Library Holds

Here at the Ping, we’re big proponents of libraries. They’re just great. We love them. So when I last moved, I naturally put “Get a library card” near the top of my to-do list. And then I did.

I was recommended a book by a friend recently, so I thought, “I’ll just log on to the library’s website and put it on hold!” Simple, right? Well… no. Holds at my library cost 50 cents. That’s right: it costs money to hold something.

I’m sure the reasons behind this are valid. They want to discourage rampant holds, and ensure people are serious about their books. While 50 cents isn’t a lot of money, it still kind of bugs me; the last libraries I’ve dealt with had no charge for holds and everything seemed fine there. What’s the deal?

I think a better, too-high-tech-for-my-medium-tech-library answer is this. Charge the 50 cents (via PayPal) but then refund it when the book is picked up. Just like a bottle deposit. Now you can really discourage those who are just messing with the hold system (you know it’s those crazy kids) and get people to use it more.

Posted in Everyday Life

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