Monday, August 18, 2008

Library Borrowing and Time

From MR.
Borrow books from libraries?
Return them always on time?
Consider the following:
" "Libraries are facing competition from television, magazines, the internet, e-books, yet they have this archaic and mad idea of charging people money for being slightly late," said library consultant Frances Hendrix - a loud voice in the debate which has been taking place on an online forum for librarians. "It's all so negative, unprofessional and unbusinesslike; like any business, libraries need not to alienate their customers." Liz Dubber, director of programmes at reading charity The Reading Agency, agreed. "My personal view [is that] they're past their sell-by date because they do sustain a very old-fashioned image of libraries which is out of sync with today's modern library environment and the image libraries are trying to project - tolerant, responsive, flexible, stimulating," she said.

One librarian suggested adopting the ancient practice of some monasteries, in which monks who offended in the handling of books were publicly cursed. Another pointed to Soviet Russia, where they said that offenders' names were published in newspapers to shame them into returning their books. In New Zealand town Palmerston North next week, library users returning late books are being challenged to beat librarians on Guitar Hero to have their fines waived."


Anonymous said...

Oh man. Reading about the Soviet style gave me goosebumps.
No better way to shame one that to put one's name on the paper if the books are not returned on time.....

Unknown said...

Yeah, sure, public cursing would be a god incentive.
For real?!!!!??

Sra said...

I don't see a problem with fines. If there were no fines, what would be the motivation to return anything? I've racked up maybe $30 in fines over the past 2-3 years, but I think that's a small price to pay for all the books I've read and all the movies and music I've gotten over that time.