Dear libraries, can I pay my fees with books?

library fees: paid in books or cash?

Fees, so many fees. Reservations are the only way to get your hands on a book from my local library system, and at £0.80 per adult title, the balance is regularly more than several cups of coffee per month at your local coffeehouse.

Then there are the late fines.

I have dozens of books I no longer want and don’t know what to do with, all of which are ‘like new’ or even brand new. Of course, not all of them would be enthusiastically accepted and seemlessly slipped into the catalogue, but I’m sure they could share them among other libraries or sell them on.

I’d happily accept a £2 credit for every book headed for a catalogue, local or otherwise, and some other lesser amount for all the rest. This could prove quite profitable for libraries. I can’t imagine them being able to buy new books for that kind of price. Libraries in large cities and university towns would surely be inundated with books they could share with those in smaller or poorer areas.

Is this a good idea? Would it help libraries or hinder them?

Or do they need cash more than books?

Image by Literary Ames

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