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« Revealed Boredom | Main | Free Speech In the Classroom »



Yeah, why don't they just charge $1 or some other trivial amount for the service. I bet imposing even a small cost would go a long way to solving the financial problems, not because of all the revenue they'd raise that way, but because people would ration their usage of the service by only requesting the articles they really want/need than just requesting whatever.

Dave Tufte

I think they don't do this because there is a general mindset that what makes a library a library is free access to stuff. And I think there are a lot of people in the libary community who recognize that this policy gets them into trouble that they could get out of by charging small fees. I don't object to that group not being in a majority, but I do object to people not even recognizing this is a possibility.


I pay a lot of overdue fines every year because I'm lazy about returning books on time... I treat libraries as a business that offer a free book rental for the first three weeks and then after that period you have to pay for them. :)


Libraries would spend more money running a $1 payment system than they would collect. There needs to be an incentive to institute such a system even though it costs money. That incentive must come from UALC, but instead the program will be terminated.

Dave Tufte

I don't think the point of a micropayment system is to cover costs, but to rein in demand. Libraries control overdue books reasonably will with a dime or quarter a day.

Dave Tufte

There is a flash animation illustrating the argument I am making here posted at The Conservative Cat. It's URL is

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