Renting books…

Nicole Engard writes about a question posted on Flickr:

was just thinking. my sister does -alot- of reading, and spends like $1000 a year on just books alone. most of them she reads once then never looks at again. is there any kind of like…video rental store but for books? would make things alot cheaper, plus once one person has read one the next person can get enjoyment from it etc

I totally agree with Nicole. I hope it is a joke. Brings up an interesting question about libraries and how we are perceived by our users. Surely they must know our services are free? I know there are some libraries who charge for certain services because of budget constraints, but so much of what we do with information implies freedom of use. When I was working at a reference desk a few years ago it was not uncommon for a user to feel like they were interrupting us “just to ask a question.” Of course we would reassure them that that is why we were there. What other things about libraries are not necessarily intuitive to our users?

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2 Responses to Renting books…

  1. […] Nicole Engard via Gerrit, here’s a question someone posted on a forum: was just thinking. my sister does -alot- of […]

  2. David says:

    In today’s world, “free” is a term that people are wary about. Often, people find reassurance in knowing they own something and having “free” services such as a library is either disconcerting or unfathomable. Maybe we can advertise ourselves as a book rental service that charges $1 per book + late fees with a $1 per book instant rebate on all purchases. Since we are non-profit, it would be tax-free and the patron would feel like he was paying for his service….sort of.

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