More library patrons

Kinda lame, but here goes.

I’ve heard several times today (and I quote):

Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe because they’re new? :smack:

Hehe. The public library I used to work at had a special 2-day checkout time and heavier fines/no renewals for new books, videos and other media. They would remain on the “new items” shelf for a month before they were kicked to “regular” status. Seemed to work pretty well, as the assholes who kept stuff longer and didn’t mind paying the higher fine contributed greatly to our juvy new book budget. :cool:

There’s got to be some good smartass responses to that, but I’m failing to come up with any decent ones.

Because other people aren’t as slow x 2 * as you.

  • they got here first and they’re not dumb enough to ask that question…

They aren’t checked out, we just saw you coming and decided to hide them to drive you crazy.

2 days for a book? For a NYT bestseller, maybe, but what if they checked out a Wheel of Time series book, or the last in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (which is still in the new book section of my library, btw)? There’s no way your average reader could go through one of those books in 2 days.

shakes fist You stole my post, you…!

Who gets to go to the library every two days, anyway? I can barely make it once a week.

Well, if they charge a dime a day in late fees (as my local library does) and it takes me a week to finish a groovy new book, I am only out fifty cents and I got to read it before you! :slight_smile:

Dude, they’re not checked out, they’re just in digital form.

I usually resort to sweet reason, warmly expressed, but a carefully judged micron juusst on the safe side from outright sarcasm: “They’re wonderful, aren’t they? We were glad we could buy as many as we did because so many people like them.”

Hint, hint.

Yeah, why is it that public libraries have been strapped for cash since time immemorial, yet haven’t looked at their fine structure in about as long? 10c a day? It’s not 1952, and your average patron is not an 11-year-old kid in hand-me-down Levi’s with milk bottle caps and a pet frog in his pocket. Either they haven’t thought about fines at all, or else public librarians have become terminally meek and nice, which by all accounts they weren’t in 1952.

I am so using that one.

And fines are 25 cents a day for books/PS2 games/audio books and $1 a day for DVD/VHS/CD-ROMs.

So we’re getting with the times.

Oh yeah, forgot about that. Late books are only a dime per day, but the VHS tapes and DVDs are $1 per day. I’ve gotten spanked with that one more than once, too.

My library doesn’t have fines at all. If you have more than 5 overdues, they freeze your card until you turn some of your stuff back in.

It doesn’t make sense to me either.

Hah, yeah right. We send the kneecappers after you here, and we are by no means meek and nice.

Well, nice. Mostly nice. We just hire other people to do our dirty work.

We do charge 20 cents a day for books, but 75 for movies. It does add up in a hurry. (What you don’t know is that nobody pays as much in fines as library staff does. It’s because we didn’t go to grad school to learn how to be librarians because we like borrowing books, duh.)

Actually it makes a great deal of sense. Despite what people think, library fines are not to raise revenue for the library, but to get the patron to give the books back. By penalizing the patron (no matter what the amount) the library sends the message "bring your books back on time, or pay the price".  By locking the card, we are saying, "if you want to check out more books, bring the ones you have sitting in your living room back."

 Most libraries will put a lock on your card if you have over a certain amount in fines, or a certain number of overdues.
  The point is that librarys are not charging fines to make money, we just want the book back so someone else can use it.

Well, many libraries don’t actually get that fine money; it goes to the city or county or someone. It’s not a source of revenue at all for a lot of them. So why make it expensive?

Zsofia, your library staff pays fines? We are all (empolyees and volunteers) exempt, and a good thing too or I’d be broke. Not paying fines is one of the greatest perks of working at a library!

But I’m really here to tell about the reference call I just had. I’m at work now, and a woman called wanting to know about Oxford University’s doctoral programs. She had looked on the university website but couldn’t find any contact information or anything about what departments exist, courses that are available, etc. So I found it all for her by clicking on the obvious places. Here’s a hint, lady: if you can’t find simple, basic information on a reasonably well-designed website, you probably don’t qualify for graduate admissions at Oxford. (OK, not a rant, but it really seemed like she was setting herself up for disappointment.)

The most retarded overdue and lost policy I’ve encountered was at a college in Georgia where I worked that I’ll only identify as Georgia College & State University Library (a building that currently has no name because they’re trying to find a donor to name it for). Overdue books were .25 per day, BUT they froze students accounts the first day it was late. This could be disastrous if it was end of semester or whatever and the student forgot they had one book out and because of a .50 fine they couldn’t get their grades or log into register for new classes. Unnecessarily draconian.

But the really insane policy: if a student lost a book, it didn’t matter what it was, then the replacement fine was $50.00. This was insane because of both extremes:

1- the student loses a paperback copy of Mourning Becomes Electra (not a first edition, not autographed, just a copy) that can be replaced in identical (actually better) condition from for $10.95. Even figuring cataloging, accounting, etc., it’s only going to cost perhaps $25 to get the new book and enter it into the system. Replacement cost: $50.00

2- the student loses the library’s one and only copy of a book with color prints of a long dead Georgia folk artist’s artworks. The book has been out of print since 1972 (but is still under copyright and thus the other libraries in the world that do own it can’t copy it for us, and if they did it would cost a fortune). The cheapest copy available is through a used bookstore and is $225 (plus s&h, plus cataloging costs, etc.). Replacement cost: $50.00.

But the really fusterclucked part: the LIBRARY DIDN’T GET THE $50.00! It went into a kitty administered by the Dean of Arts & Sciences, who was nominally over the library (but took absolutely no interest and said several times “everything’s online now anyway” [I’m crushing your head… I’m crushing your head] and she of course put it into her general slush fund budget.

The student I really wanted to kill though: there was an obnoxious spoiled brat (but very bright) kid who had a huge interest in Georgia history. He checked out every book we had on the history of Milledgeville, Georgia and surrounding areas (more than it might sound like since it was the home of Flannery O’Connor, site of the world’s largest mental hospital, etc.) and returned the ones that were still in print. The others he claimed he “lost” and when told that it would $350 to “replace” them, pulled out his checkbook. C’est la vie, to him.

The books he “lost” were out of print. They couldn’t be replaced at any price. We had actually tried to put them into Special Collections (where they couldn’t be checked out) but a history professor had appealed this to the Dean who rubberstamped it: no can do. They were gone, and they were absolutely irreplaceable: a century old published diary of a young girl who lived in the town during Sherman’s occupation and through Reconstruction, a privately published book of local slave narratives that had not been photocopied because the copyright holders were not responsive, etc., and all of it just gone in exchange for $350 that the library never saw. We hated that little rich bastard with a passion and literally had a small party when he was later expelled from the school for drug posession.

My Oxford lady just called back. She couldn’t figure out how to make an international telephone call to Oxford, either. (Maybe I should have told her about the time difference?)

There are libraries where the staff don’t pay fines?! I owe, like, 60 bucks. It’s really embarassing. We definately and absolutely pay fines. Did when I worked at the university library too. But I think the library would go under if we didn’t, we provide so much revenue.