Sandi’s Post: Library Usage…Would You Pay or No?

Recently a discussion ensued in one of my reader groups about the library.  In the course of the discussion people were upset about many different things occurring at either their local library or one in an adjoining city or county.  It got me wondering about my own library usage and whether or not I could use another city’s system.

Naturally I got online and discovered that for a small fee I could join what has to be the largest library near me.  Since I primarily use Overdrive for audio books I was curious as to whether or not that other system had different audios than what I could get at my own  forward thinking library.  I was dismayed to find out that my fee entitled me to a limited number of physical books, but that I would not be allowed anything from their digital collection.

I could not help but feel that this was wrong.  Let’s say that the fee to join the library is $25 per year.  I could go and check out three best selling hardcovers and abscond with them, hence basically buying one and getting two free.  Digital materials return themselves and while I realize that publishers are attempting to limit the licenses for digital materials doesn’t my yearly fee help to buy at least one?

Okay…so maybe I’m not typical in moving to all digital, but for those readers who still adore their print books isn’t a yearly fee worth paying to access a library that is closer to your home, and provides better services?  After all I feel confident that when I have to pay a fine or a fee for using the service I am contributing to someone’s salary and to the cost of continuing to add  books to the library and thus spread the love of reading to someone who perhaps can not afford to read any other way.

It’s your turn now.  What do you think?  Would you pay a fee to join a better library? How do you feel about the late fees your library charges?  If you use the library what is your primary reason for using it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

0 thoughts on “Sandi’s Post: Library Usage…Would You Pay or No?

  1. Moira

    In my Library System, one card and I can use all but one Library in the county. I use the library for research and the fact that I just like to go there. Late fees well I always return on time and I can renew online if I need to.

  2. Erin Schmidt

    No I think many people forget about things like interlibrary loan and reciprocity rules that give them access to the same catalogs without any additional costs.

    Many libraries have reciprocity rules that you can use other facilities, especially when it comes to overdrive. Further, interlibrary loan will get you any book you ask for. Community and school libraries (even the one in your kid’s school) have access to interlibrary loan.

    With that, it is almost like shopping on Amazon on the library website, except I still have to pick them up.

  3. jovialvampyre

    I use my library all the time but I would not pay more for a better one. We pay an ungodly amount in taxes for our library. My husband can’t get over how it is the second highest tax on our bill. My local library won’t carry anything with as they define as “erotic nature.” So I do most of my borrowing via inter-library.

  4. Limecello

    Hi Sandi,

    First of all… I wouldn’t pay to join a library unless I could use/borrow from its digital collections, and it was a really good one. Then, I’d consider the cost, and the general usage of it. For example, I know before (don’t think you can now) people could buy a membership to the NYPL digital collection. If, however, any book I want has a general hold list of 60 people… that’s not good for me. I can’t expect to hit the database 5 minutes after the page is updated and make it in the top 10. (Although *fist pump* I have done that before… at my own library. :P)

    I say that because I don’t read print books anymore. Of course – now what with publishers pulling their books from digital collections, which is a whole other topic of head explodery…

    Anyway – library wise, 95% would probably be e-books, for me. Maybe one day when I grow up and the economy doesn’t such and I have a job…

    I don’t mind the fees. The library has to pay some how… of course I don’t think my local library is like jovialvampyre’s/the taxes… but for late charges, etc, yup. Good with me. Even the like $1/day charges for late bluray discs.

  5. Mary Kirkland (@scarymary66)

    No I would not. I have one card and with that I can go to any library in town and use anything at the library. I don’t use ebooks, it’s all print books for this girl so I don’t know anything more than I could get ebooks if I wanted to..which I don’t.

    I can renew online, I can make an appointment for a computer online.. and can pay my fine online if I ever get one.

  6. JoAnne

    I have used the library where ever I have lived since I was young. My current library charges a 10 cents per day late fee. There are no charges to use the library except for a few special programs and to rent videos which are $1 and must be returned the next day.
    I can request books from other libraries in the state that they are connected with and they will send them to my home library for pick up.
    I can also go to any other town/city in CT (where I live) and have my library card activated for use at their library. The next towns from me I have physically used their facilities and picked out and checked out books while there.
    I only buy books that are special to me otherwise I borrow from friends and the library. If I bought every book I read I would have to have a separate building for all the books.


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