Friday, January 09, 2009

National Library Board: Pay up your library fines by April...or else!

Or else...have your borrowing privileges revoked!

Kudos for NLB for finally making it clear & state it firmly what will happen if those irresponsible borrowers continue to conveniently forget to pay their libray fines.

In the same news, it is also said that the libraries "will remove the 50-cent renewal fee per book to encourage library users to renew borrowed materials.

The current policy of allowing users to renew borrowed items only once remains unchanged."

I hope to read soon about how the reservation fee (currently of $1.55) is revised downwards. Heh. If only the reservation fee can be related with the duration of the book borrowed. That is to say, if you're confident you can finish reading the book within 1 week & return it immediately, the reservation fee partially could be reimbursed to your account. Now that may encourage people to read diligently & more productively.

Read Channel NewsAsia, "NLB members must pay outstanding fines by April to continue borrowing books".

Update on 01/04: the book borrowers are said to heed the new rule.

The first day of a new zero-tolerance policy on unpaid library fines passed smoothly, with few members caught unawares on Wednesday.

Those with outstanding fines or charges will no longer be allowed to borrow library materials until they paid up, starting from Wednesday.

Two months after the new policy was announced, library members appear to have heard the message loud and clear.

At Central Public Library, Bishan Public Library and Jurong Regional Library, only seven out of 35 users that The Straits Times spoke to did not know about the change in policy.

It's all part of efforts to combat a longstanding problem.

As of Jan 15, $6.5 million in fines and charges was owed to the library by about 700,000 members.

In February, reminder notices were sent out to all errant members. By mid-March, over $650,000 in outstanding fees and fines has been collected from them.

About half a million users still owe the library almost $6 million.

Users were previously allowed to chalk up fines and charges of $6 before their borrowing privileges were suspended.

To help keep arrears down, the $0.50 renewal fee for each borrowed item has also been scrapped.

From Straits Times, "Book borrowers heed new rule".


Ivan Chew said...

Hi Anonymous_X, interesting idea to have a pro-rated reservation fee with the loan duration of the book. It's like using price to influence the circulation of the system).

But personally, I feel the $1.55 reservation fee (which has not been changed for the last 10 years, other than the GST amt) is very, very low. I think it's even less than the average cost of traveling on MRT or bus.

If we have a pro-rated system, I think it's likely the people who return at the max. loan period will pay more. Then there will be people who'd feel such a policy would create a gap between those who can afford and those who can't. So a public service agency like the NLB has to be careful about that. Cheers!

Anonymous_X said...

Yes, I can understand that it's difficult to have a system to satisfy everyone. :)

PS. Thanks for the info about the reservation fee has not been changed for the last 10 years. Heh.