Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Reserve Fees

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Reserve Fees

Article excerpt

I recently received this internal memo of the Baltimore County Public Library:

"During the month of May, the Friends of the Catonsville Library have generously offered to pay reserve fees for customers picking up their holds at Catonsville. This will apply only to the usual $1 fee and not to additional charges occasionally requested by out-of-state or academic libraries.

"Along with their reserves, customers will be handed a flier ("Be a Friend") listing a few of the programs and services which the Friends have made possible. Since this effort coincides with their membership drive, it should serve as an excellent opportunity to promote the Friends and increase support.

"Please note: this will not be advertised, so it will certainly come as a surprise to our customers. We expect that within days the news will be all over town!"

I thought this ploy by the Friends to increase membership was a really good one, and it will be interesting to find out the results. I'll try to remember to call the branch manager before the next issue.

Of course, if your library doesn't charge for reserves, it won't work very well.

That reminds me of something else, this time definitely not news, which I saw recently on CNN on what must have been a slow news day. Apparently someone returning a book to some library I have mercifully forgotten during a fine amnesty week found that the book was years and years late. The fine was figured as some $1600 (gasp!) but amnesty week saved the day, as it were.

I must have seen a hundred stories about overdue books with massive fines during my career. …

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