Fines for ESL Materials, Interlibrary Loans and Childrens Books

It's clamp down time at the Seattle Public Library. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to impose overdue fines on previously exempt childrens books and English-as-a-second-language materials, charge a $5 fee for interlibrary loans and limit the number of materials a user can check out and place holds on.

Fines on previously exempt materials, which will remain exempt until changes start Oct. 15, are expected to bring an added $36,000 in annual revenue. City Librarian Susan Hildreth said the decision was not done to raise revenue, but to help staffers maintain their workload and keep materials in circulation.

The Seattle PI article goes on to quote some library users who are very unhappy about the proposed changes.


Charles Coldwell, library applications and systems manager, told the board about 7 percent of library cardholders are responsible for roughly 45 percent of the hold requests.

Anyone have trouble picturing these whiny entitlement junkies and crabby, pompous, bad-smelling, dressed-like-a-hobo old coots who scream about getting a German translation of the Book of Kells in two days for his Very Important Research which, apparently, involves have soup on his tie at all times?

I hate the ILL leeches.

I have no doubt Mr. Coldwell is correct. The cost to the library in staff time at both the borrowing and lending library for a small number of customers is out of proportion, and some cost recovery is necessary.

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