Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Netflix-style Libraries?

I found this article through an email listserv. A Californian public library is adopting a Netflix-style library circulation system. Patrons can rent out books and audiovisual items without late fees. I think it's really cool. It's another effective way to get people into the library and utilize all the diverse programs and services it offers. The library can also make some money on the side using e-commerce methods. Cultural institutions are using creative ways to survive these tough economic times.
A Bay Area library is about to test a Netflix-ikle model in which library users can borrow three items at a Hayward Public Library for $2.99 a month, five items for $4.99 a month, or up to ten for $8.99 month, with no late fees. (There’s no free shipping, however. Some libraries in New Jersey offer delivery by mail but still charge late fees.)

Sean Reinhart, acting director of the Hayward Public Library, CA, says the “Fines-Free” Library Loan Program, the first of its kind, aims to lure back library users who find their accounts blocked—20% of total users—and give up on the library.

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