Library Borrows Netflix Model

While other libraries are shipping library materials to patrons, similar to the NetFlix business model, the Hayward Public Library in Ohio is going a different route: pay a $2.99 monthly fee to check out 3 items at one time, and never worry about overdue fines.

The idea is intriguing, and I suppose it would appeal to those who have perpetual overdue fines (or perhaps a huge amount of fines). However, for the majority of library users who return materials on time, this would not be cost effective. Why pay $2.99 a month ($35.88 dollars per year) when you don’t have to pay anything at all if you return things on time?

At my public library, which charges $1.00 per video and a hefty charge for overdue items, this would sound appealing (especially if the $1.00 movie fee were removed!). It would be a known amount instead of an unknown amount that is suddenly sprung on you.

According to, the library director said,

“if only 2 percent of library users opt into the program, it will more than match $94,000 the library took in from late fees last year. And the other 98 percent of users who don’t opt to go fines-free will still be putting in money the old-fashioned way”

It is an interesting concept which has the support of the local city council to begin the program before Christmas. I am curious how it will turn out, but doubt that they will have 2% of user involvement initially, but I may be wrong as the call of overdue fines becomes louder.

View original source.


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on November 12, 2009, in Libraries and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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