Sunday, December 05, 2004

Library Fines

This week I got a letter from my library ( sorry Learning Resource Centre) demanding £15 of my hard earned cash or else. I was somewhat taken aback...until I realized that they wanted me to give back the book residing in the bottom of my bag that I had unwittingly forgotten about for the last three weeks. Then I thought fair cop ...and went and raided the bank machine for some cash.

However, when I arrived at the counter they only wanted 50p..and the book back of course. All of which made me realize that I had been skillful manipulated by a cunning hunter-killer librarian. I got to wondering about the other cunning or not so cunning tricks that library staff use to get back their valuable stock.

One of the toughest ideas I have happened across comes from Bay City, Michigan. According to CNN the librarians of this fair town want to send some offenders to jail. I gather that this is not an original idea- one woman in Florida actually got handcuffed and fined over a $1000 dollars for overdue books. Remind me never to borrow a book when I next in the States. I am just too absent-minded not to go to jail.

One of the nicest schemes that I have come across goes by the name of 'Food for Fines'. For example, Cape Girardeau Public Library, in Missouri is currently taking in dried and canned foods instead of cash to pass on to local families in need.

One of the strangest facts that I have garnered, from reading Mike Clarke's site Hunkabutta about life in Tokyo, is that libraries in Japan do not have library their clients bring the books back on time.

Some how i don't think that this syetm would work for a British University!

Let me know about the strange things that librarians get up to in your world!


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