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Library fines increase 10,000%

Kerces 24 October 2005 8

Are YOU a library debtter or a booknapper? If so, Steve Pratt thinks you need to learn some respect.

He has got some figures about library fines from the government and discovered the amount of outstanding fines increased by 10,000 per cent from 2001 to 2005.

It is hard to tell if he is more worried about the $200,000 owing to the government this year or about the books missing from the library, but either way he is Concerned.

“This is a depreciation in our asset and I am calling on the Government to make more of an effort to have these books returned to our public libraries,” Mr Pratt said.

“I realise that some members of the community may simply have forgotten that they still had a book on loan and a simple reminder may prompt them to return the book. But unfortunately there are others who appear not to have any respect that someone else may want to borrow the book they have not returned for years on end.”

He wants the minister responsible, John Hargreaves, to come with a plan for recovering both the money owed and the publicly-owned books which are residing on private bookshelves.

I would like it on the record that earlier this year I returned several books few weeks late and avoided the library for months so as not to have to pay the fine. I eventually yielded to the temptation however (buying books got too expensive) and returned and paid my $5.60 so I am no longer one of Mr Pratt’s booknappers or library debtters.

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8 Responses to Library fines increase 10,000%
Swaggie 11:31 am 25 Oct 05

“He wants the minister responsible, John Hargreaves, to come with a plan”

This is Mr Pratt asking for this? The same Mr Pratt who when asked to fix our local street light which were on the blink got a minion to write back to say he would make representations on our behalf – we just wanted him to ring someone up and get it organised. Eventually we did it ourselves when we found out who to contact. Pratt is gone at the next election – and not before time.

glimmertwin 8:48 pm 24 Oct 05

Kerces is right – there isn’t much in Prattland that can’t be solved by more police. Now if only there were more Police in the Liberal Partyroom…

colsim 7:32 pm 24 Oct 05

I’d like to see a little more of this

BOOKMAN: Well, let me tell you something, funny boy. Y’know that little stamp,

the one that says “New York Public Library”? Well that may not mean

anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole hell of a lot.

Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I’ve seen your type before:

Flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you’re

thinking. What’s this guy making such a big stink about old library

books? Well, let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without

libraries, people like you and me. Maybe. Sure, we’re too old to change

the world, but what about that kid, sitting down, opening a book, right

now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees

and wee-wees on the Cat in the Hat and the Five Chinese Brothers?

Doesn’t HE deserve better? Look. If you think this is about overdue

fines and missing books, you’d better think again. This is about that

kid’s right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or: maybe

that turns you on, Seinfeld; maybe that’s how y’get your kicks. You and

your good-time buddies. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time

is over. Y’got seven days, Seinfeld. That is one week!

Kerces 6:25 pm 24 Oct 05

I knew there was something missing from this press release and I’ve just worked out what it was: this was a Steve Pratt special and it DID NOT mention police! Not even once!

Funny, you would think increased numbers of police would be just the ticket to get people to bring their books back…

johnboy 6:18 pm 24 Oct 05

Maybe Steve Pratt could have done his job in opposition and actually proposed a policy?

Personally I think NTP’s idea would solve the problem very directly.

If only we had stocks in garema place.

Mick 5:44 pm 24 Oct 05

Maelinar is right. A book amnesty would be the best thing.
There is no way the government could expect to get that much money back in fines.

I used to work for the ACT Library service and when they did last have their fine amnesty, so many long-overdue books were returned that it just made it easier for everyone.

Maybe then they can introduce some sort of new system. Maybe half-price fines if you pay them on return (like some video rental stores).

Maelinar 4:07 pm 24 Oct 05

I can see a direct analogy between this and Deb Foskey’s public supplied house.

In this instance, the public has supplied a book to an individual for them to use for a specified period. After that period of time, they get to pay ‘market rent’, or a late fine by anybody elses terminology.

Because of this Governments inaction, they’ve finally left the issue alone for so long that it’s become a problem.

To be honest I’m hardly surprised the library issue has come up, I welcome an initiative to get their books back, although I would have thought that a book amnesty would have been a more appropriate step to take at this stage of the game.

I however have no compassion towards a government who have allowed an overdue library book issue to escalate into the hundreds of thousands.

Nik_the_Pig 3:50 pm 24 Oct 05

who reckons fines over $50 should turn into commitment warrants?

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