Would you pay to use a library?

Medieval crime author Michael Jecks has proposed that those who can afford it should pay 15p (or about 22 U.S. cents) to take out a book from a public library. Those who cannot afford it – i.e. those who receive welfare benefits – would not have to pay.

Here’s how the BBC reported the story.

Seems fair enough to me – I already have to pay 1 pound to take out audio books on CD. But what do you think?


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Next week

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Dave Haslett, www.ideas4writers.co.uk


4 thoughts on “Would you pay to use a library?

  1. My first Saturday job forty six years ago was in a greeting card shop in Lower Briggate in Leeds called Strand Libraries. The back part of the shop operated as a paying library. Customers would come in, choose their books – as many as they liked – and pay six old pence per book (2½ pence today) It was all very trusting of course as the books were worth much more than the borrowing fee. I was fascinated by the customers who would borrow six or eight books a week; I felt that they had way too much time on their hands.

  2. I think it’s totally unfair if people have to pay to take books out as is said above we already pay to use our Libaries. Also if a book is late going in we have to pay so isn’t that like paying. Libraries should be free

  3. Whenever I want a book from our Discovery Centre ( used to be a library but we have gone upmarket ) I rarely find it in the one in Gosport. I always have to order it from elsewhere in the county. Costs 50p a time, or, if it is outside the county, £1. Most of the ones I want seem to be in the County Library Store at Winchester. Wonder why? To make money from people ordering them perhaps? Currently I have 2 on order, from Basingstoke, which is shut until December as it is being ugraded. They apparently have the only copies in Hampshire! I want those for research for a novel.
    It cost £2,000,000 to upgrade the library, including £30,000 for a mobile thing that was supposed to show the earth from space. Whatever for? It usually pointed down at the floor or up at the ceiling and it has now gone. Could have used the money to buy extra copies of books and save me having to keep paying for books that should be held locally. They said they had bought 10,000 new books, but, as they have also reduced the size of the bookshelves, so I can look over them instead of reaching up to the top shelf, (health and safety I suppose in case someone hurts themselves getting a book down) and I cannot see the wide selection they had before, I am wondering what they bought. So, before suggesting paying to borrow books, look to saving wasted money on unnecessary toys like the new shorter shelves and useless mobiles.

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