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Book Lovers and Library Users

Not strictly gardening but I know that many of us use our local libraries for both pleasure and research.

When faced with cutbacks, our local authorities do seem to prefer to cut Library hours, close down small ones and do away with the Mobile Library service.  Despite evidence from other countries with thriving Libraries which charge for this service, the UK seems oddly antagonistic to this idea.

Our own local service is under threat yet again, particularly the Mobile service and we have until January to make our representations.

I know that I would prefer to pay a subscription to use any library service but surprisingly even some Library staff seem to think this completely out of the question.  People can't afford it is the stock answer - even apparently 25 pence per week.

If anyone would like to take a few minutes to just respond to the following I'd be very grateful.....

Would you pay for a library service ?

If so, do you think it fairer to charge an annual subscription or to charge per item or visit ?

How far do you live from a Library ?

Do you make use of a mobile service ?

Age........rough nothing specific..........say "under 30"...."30 to 60 " or "60 plus".

Any other related comments welcome.

Thanks very muchimage





  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,443
    • I would pay for a library service rather than lose it.  (Of course we pay for it already, but I know what you mean.)
    • I think charging per item would be fairest.
    • I live 3.5 miles from our wonderful central library in Norwich, 2.5 miles from a smaller local library, and a short walk from the Waitrose carpark where the mobile library stops.  We are very well catered for living here.  When I lived in a rural village and was a mum working from home I lived for the fortnightly visits from the mobile library.  So did my children.  The mobile library is so important to isolated rural communities, many of which have no regular bus services, and I think they should be saved over some of the community libraries on the outskirts of cities like this - at least we can get a bus to the library.
    • Aged 62
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • We currently use our library once a week (my daughter would use it more) and we do have to pay already if we want certain things like putting a book on hold.

    Would you pay for a library service ? I think we would pay for an annual subscription but at the moment it is one of the free pleasures our family have access to. I say annual subscription as I would rather encourage children to take out as many books as possible and have the love for them that my children have as opposed to perhaps feeling restricted by a parent counting the pennies.

    How far do you live from a Library ? Five minutes walk.

    Do you make use of a mobile service ? Not one I am aware of being available.

    Age........ 36

    We have recently moved and the nearness to the library was an influencing factor for us. Prior to this we had no easy access to a library.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I would pay, not much because I haven't got much.

    Annual subscription, I wouldn't want to pay per item because some of the items aren't worth paying for.

    I'm old and 3 miles or so from a library. I read a lot

    I'm considering electronic books, wouldn't have to go to the library and could never forget one and get overdue

    Have I covered it?image

  • Thanks Dove image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,443

    I take on board other people's preference for annual subscriptions - I'm really not sure which would be best.  I thought Pay per Item because it would be a smaller amount and not put people off .  There's probably pros and cons for both.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    Pay as you go would have me changing my technique. Our local library is small so I take anything I haven't read, (ignoring one or two types of novelimage)  and reject anything unreadable later on.

    The central library involves carrying books too far and paying to parkimage. There are larger local libraries but they're some miles away.

    Ours are now run by a private company, not the council. They run all the leisure stuff and some areas are much improved by this. I have fears for the libraries though. Maybe unfounded. I hope so.

  •  Thanks Minos and Nutcutlet..........all grist to the millimage

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Perhaps a two tiered system might work.  People who know that they will use the library frequently would prefer to pay a subscription and other infrequent users like myself might be happier paying per item.

    My local library is a five minute walk away but not particularly well stocked.  I don't use a mobile library.

    Aged 59. 

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,867
    A small charge per item would not be offputting whereas a subscription might deter people on lower incomes from using their libraries. I confess I haven't used our central library (ten miles away) for some time but I have relied on it in the past to educate me about musical genres that I would not normally come across and I would certainly be willing to pay a small amount for that. I'm over 60 and regard the provision of libraries as essential in a civilised society.
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