Aaargh! Library fail

From the Brighton and Hove Library website:

Reservation charges from June 1, 2009 - From June 15 2009 there will be a reservation charge of 50p (concessionary rate 25p) for items in stock in Brighton & Hove Libraries. This will apply to people aged 16 and over. Reservations for people aged 15 and under will remain free. The charge will go towards the administrative cost of reserving items and will help us to deliver a better reservation service. This administrative charge will be put on your account, to be paid when you collect the reserved item.

Well buggeration! I love my libraries, from the big and sleek Jubilee to my lovely little local Hangleton, but this is a kick in the groin and no mistake. I usually reserve between four and sixteen books a month (and I read them too, I’m a librovore) and a charge like this is going to cold turkey my library reservation habit as of right now! Instead of reserving I shall just browse the catalogue and go and collect the books from the relevant library myself, on the basis that a £3.60 bus fare would take me into town for coffee, meeting a friend, and collecting half a dozen books in comfort and pleasure, rather than giving 50p per book to the library service to do it for me. I know I should support the system but honestly – I spend a good part of most of my workshop time exhorting people to use their libraries as a magnificent and free resource, and then they do this!

Drat.

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