...the proposed $1 fee has riled library users, who have watched book collections dwindle in their branches and have come to rely on the interbranch transfer system that allows users to search the book catalog, reserve a book and have it delivered to their local library in a few days....
"When I heard about the $1 fee, I just flipped," said Kim Cooper, who started Save the L.A. Public Library with her husband, Richard Schave, to urge Villaraigosa to reject the reserve fee.
The library system has already had to slash its book-buying budget from $11.4million to $8.8million over the past year....
After the department was ordered to cut its budget by 5 percent earlier this year, the library also had to stop buying books from February through June.
Last year, users requested 1.5 million book holds. Persic said the library doesn't know how much the $1 reserve fee would generate because people would likely cut back on the number of books they reserve.While I can sympathize with the library's problem, this plan seems to be a sure way to discourage reading. Does it make any sense to put yourself out of business for failing in your primary mission by, in a sense, pricing yourself right out of the market? I've seen children walk out of a library with two dozen short books that will last them a week or two. D0es anyone really believe that parents of small children will spend $25-$50 per month to support the reading habits of their younger children?
Personally, if my county system were to implement a similar plan, my reading habits would change. I would be less likely to take a chance on books recommended by others and would end up making fewer trips to my local branch because of the very small chance that I will ever actually find on the shelves the exact book, or books, I'm wanting to read next. Via the internet I am able to line up for exactly the books I want. They don't always arrive at my branch in a timely manner but I know that I'll eventually get them.
But I probably request over 100 books a year from the library...at a buck a book that starts to get expensive. I expect my county to use a portion of the exorbitant county tax bill I pay every year to keep my library functioning. So far, so good.