You know the saying about cobbler’s children being unshod, well I think librarians are amongst the main offenders of overdue library books, but maybe it’s just me? According to Patrick Cook’s (1983) Favourite names for boys & girls “St Julie aids the victims of library fines” 🙂
As I have just returned from paying off some overdue fines at my local library I did wonder why we have not experimented more with other possibilities for the overdue fine. I then found this blog post that raises some interesting alternatives; ranging from “no fines” to a sort of “work for the fine” option. My favourite however would be the “pay what you want” concept. A concept I’ve seen work in a cultural institutions (MoMA) and a restaurant (Lentil as Anything).
From my time in public libraries a while ago, I know that offering an amnesty on fines does bring back “lapsed”clients. Perhaps there are ways to stop them becoming lapsed in the first place.