The date-due ink stamp will soon disappear forever, sacrificed in the service of a supposed efficiency. This is yet another example of The Consumer having to do more work. Pump your own gas, scan your own groceries, remove your own gallbladder. So snarks John Kelly in his Washington Post column, "It's a plot".
By the end of June, all public libraries in Montgomery County Maryland will have done away with the date-due stamp, the familiar feature perfected by no less a figure than Melvil Dewey. In its place you will get a printed receipt. You will also get a magnet so you can affix your receipt to the refrigerator.
"It enables us to get the books into the hands of customers faster," Carol Legarreta, the county's public services administrator for branch operations, said by way of explanation. Patrons will be encouraged to manage their accounts online, checking to see when their books are due, reading e-mail reminders sent by the library system.