Posted by on Jun 13, 2009 in Hove Library, Libraries | 5 Comments

Aaargh! Library fail

From the Brighton and Hove Library website:

Reservation charges from June 1, 2009 – From June 15 2009 there will be a reservation charge of 50p (concessionary rate 25p) for items in stock in Brighton & Hove Libraries. This will apply to people aged 16 and over. Reservations for people aged 15 and under will remain free. The charge will go towards the administrative cost of reserving items and will help us to deliver a better reservation service. This administrative charge will be put on your account, to be paid when you collect the reserved item.

Well buggeration! I love my libraries, from the big and sleek Jubilee to my lovely little local Hangleton, but this is a kick in the groin and no mistake. I usually reserve between four and sixteen books a month (and I read them too, I’m a librovore) and a charge like this is going to cold turkey my library reservation habit as of right now! Instead of reserving I shall just browse the catalogue and go and collect the books from the relevant library myself, on the basis that a £3.60 bus fare would take me into town for coffee, meeting a friend, and collecting half a dozen books in comfort and pleasure, rather than giving 50p per book to the library service to do it for me. I know I should support the system but honestly – I spend a good part of most of my workshop time exhorting people to use their libraries as a magnificent and free resource, and then they do this!



  1. Fia
    13th June 2009

    I agree. Not a good way to keep us supporting them is it?

  2. Ad Lad
    13th June 2009

    That’s rubbish! Thank twenty years of Thatcherism and Thatcherism lite. In my world people would be rewarded fifty pence for picking up a book, and given another fifty if they could prove they’d read it.

  3. Lou
    13th June 2009

    I agree and I feel sorry for myself who have to work in the libraries and put up with all the disappointed people … if you give me a piece of chocolate I’ll waive your charges :=)

    p.s. one reason for the charges is that a lot of the reserved books are never picked up … not everybody is as good as you :=)

  4. Ms Baroque
    16th June 2009

    I confess I’m not good at libraries. Best will inth e world, etc, but I always end up not taking something back – once I found some library books two years after moving house…

    But for the rest of you, the people who can keep it up, it is a disappointing development – though not surprising. Pace the advent of Tower Hamlets’ rebranding (and remodelling) of their libraries as “Idea Stores,” there is a creeping retail mentality.

    Shame. When I was a kid we used to get a Bookmobile in our road every two weeks. The excitement – we’d go on board, choose our books, talk about putting your municipal money where your mouth is.

  5. Kay Sexton
    17th June 2009

    Fia, it’s sad.

    Ad Lad, you made me laugh out loud. You know there is a pay-to-read scheme for infants in the USA, Chicago I believe.

    Lou – I’d share my chocolate with you any day.

    Ms Baroque, when I was little we had a local library but my best friend had the library van and I was envious – it seemed so romantic like a literary gypsy caravan …


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