Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What a Good Idea: "Fines for late return of library books set to be abolished" via @independent_ie #14929DaysLate

According to @CormacMcQuinn, writing last week in the Irish Independent, our Government is about to introduce a new policy so that Fines for late return of library books set to be abolished. This is an effort to remove barriers to people going to the Public Library, and to encourage more reading. Fines of 5c a day for late books was probably not much of a barrier anyway, and probably cost more to collect that it generated. I like this idea, though I feel there should probably be some kind of deterrent to prevent people keeping books for  along time.

G.A. Henty.
Image source: Wikipedia.
I was also listening to the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio this morning where she had a discussion with one of our national treasures, Professor Joseph O'Connor, about libraries. O'Connor loved visiting libraries as a kid and feels that everyone should have access to the joy of books (and even the smell!). He told us about reading Enid Blyton books, which I recall also doing when I was young. 

I don't recall there being a library in Carnew National School or in the town during the 1960s when I was growing up. However, there was a library in my secondary school - Cistercian College Roscrea. When I was listening to Joe O'Connor I remembered that I still had a book from the CCR library: Orange and Green: A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick by G.A. Henty published in 1888 (Henty was a prolific author of books for boys - he published six in 1888!). I left CCR in 1977, so taking an estimate of the number of days from 1st June 1977 to today, it is 14,929 days. If I was fined 5c for each day, the total would be a whopping €746.21. I honestly don't recall if I forgot to give it back, or if I stole it, or if it was discarded by the library for free. In any case, I am 41 years late in returning it - I wonder does the CCR library want it back?

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