Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's all good: Killing Off Fines Is Long Overdue

Have any law school libraries stopped collecting overdue fines?

See It's all good: Killing Off Fines Is Long Overdue:

I hate library fines. They represent and embody all of the librarian stereotypes I have loathed for the 34-1/2 years I've been working in and for libraries.

I wish some daring library director or board would try the NetFlix model. You know: you can keep these things as long as you want, but you don't get any more until these come back. Set a limit of 25 books and three videos and five CDs (or whatever seems a reasonable number in your setting), and when the user hits that limit, his or her card is blocked from taking out anything else. But no more overdue fines, no fees, no "retribution" at all. Bring back some of the items, you can take some more.

This kind of publicity hurts us, and it hurts us over and over again. We want to see ourselves as the guardians of the public good, but we end up looking like nitpicking gremlins.
See the original post, especially for the comments (Netflix has multiple copies, libraries typically have only one; what about books with holds on them). At least this is a good starting point for discussion.

No comments: