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September 7th, 2010

Library Fees

Our public library system is great: they never charge late fees for anything. You’ll get late notices, but never charged a fee. Sure, they’ll prevent you from getting anything else out if you’ve got something a couple of weeks overdue and not renewed, but that’s it.

But that’s about to end. Sadly, now every item will cost 10 cents per day overdue. As someone who has never once renewed or returned a book on time, this is going to require quite a change in behavior or else I may need to funnel part of my paycheck to them automatically.

I’m bummed they need to start charging, but knowing the funding situation of many public library systems, I don’t begrudge them. Make some money, folks, and keep giving us the great service we’ve come to know and love.

(I do get a kick out of how they repeat with different language that, no, there are no exceptions. “Is there a grace period?” “Is there an amnesty period?” “Will fines be retroactive?” “Are there exceptions for…” They could have summed it all up with one Q&A: Q: Are there any excep… A: NO! If your shit’s late, YOU PAY. Done.)

Posted in Miscellaneous

Cat September 8, 2010, 12:39 pm

Sadly, fees are why I cannot use a library. I end up paying as much for the book as I would if I bought it, and I still end up returning it eventually. I am missing the library gene.

Elizabeth D September 8, 2010, 11:44 pm

I used to work in a library and of course when you’re on the staff you aren’t liable for fines. So library staff quickly get used to checking out items for a ridiculously protracted period. It was a hard habit to break when I left the library, believe me!!

The worst was the videos. Books, cds, tapes, magazines are all 10 cents/day, but videos were $1/day. I worked in the AV dept and we heard every excuse out there. We were allowed in extreme circumstances to bend the rules a little, but it didn’t happen often. One patron’s husband shelved the video with the other kids’ videos and she assumed it had been returned…until she got the notice…then took her time returning it, thinking it was 10 cents like everything else. By the time it came back she owed about $20 in fines. “I could have bought this video for that!!” she wailed. They’ve changed their check-out time — videos used to be due back in 2 days and now you check them out a week — but the fine is still the same. There are neon pink labels all over the case saying it so people really have to go way out of their way to not notice. (I’m sure they still do though.)

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