Greedy Libraries Restrict Services

My local library recently brought up the decision to limit users of other municipalities from accessing certain services. Libraries call these ‘restrictions.’ Fortunately they voted the decision down.

I know of a few local libraries that restrict services. Like popular books.

In demand books have a waiting list. JoAnne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy is a recent example. Each library buys a number of books that will satisfy their patrons. The waiting list for Hunger Games is 100s of people long. But with restrictions there can be a line 100 people long, while copies of the popular book sit on a shelf? Why not allow those books to circulate and then if someone from the book’s home library gets in line, put them at the head of the line for that copy of the book? Isn’t that a better solution than making people wait for an occupied book when an unoccupied book is sitting on a shelf??

What other taxed item does that happen with?

Firefighters don’t scoff when called to another district’s blaze.

There are no restrictions to town or county roads based on where you live.

Playgrounds don’t have a swipper system to gain access.

From a patron’s perspective I think it’s a terrible decision to restrict services. It’s an absolutely backwards way of thinking about a lending library. I understand the financial burdens placed upon libraries. Hoarding and greed is not the answer.

Restrictions come from small minded board members counting every last person who comes in and how much they should be coughing up for the privilege of the ground they walk on. Counting usage is the wrong attitude for a library to have.  Over 50% of your libraries usage is outside of the taxpayer base? There are two ways to respond:

What can you do to reach out to the libraries in those districts to help setup programs and better serve YOUR patrons?

What can you do to make sure you can squeeze every last dime out of every last person?

I have no problem with a local patron being able to jump to the head of the line for a book that has a waiting list. I have a huge problem when people behave in greedy, small minded ways.

It’s 2012. Maybe in days of old you could get away with treating people like nickels in your change jug. Not anymore.


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