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.