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Newspaper article: Broome County Public Library will start charging reservation fees

August 22, 2009

This article was in the 8/22/09 edition of the Press & Sun Bulletin:

Beginning Sept. 1, reserving the latest bestseller, video or DVD at the Broome County Public Library will cost you 25 cents.
The Binghamton-based library is looking to bring in extra money in economic hard times, said Lisa S. Wise, the library’s director.
The reservation fee isn’t a novelty in Broome County’s urban core, Wise said. Libraries in Vestal, Johnson City and Endicott already charge patrons 25 cents to reserve books and movies.
Broome County library officials settled on the 25-cent reservation fee to make it consistent with the other local libraries. “We thought it was necessary,” Wise said of the new fee. “We’re trying to save money.”
The Broome County Library reserves about 500 books, videotapes and DVDs a week for patrons, Wise said. That works out to about $125 a week or about $6,500 a year. The library’s annual budget is about $2.6 million.
Bestselling books and newly released DVDs are the most popular items reserved by patrons. Typically, book and movie fans are put on a waiting list. Library staffers then notify patrons either by telephone, e-mail, or postcard as the items they’ve reserved become available.
The fee will also apply to reservations made online through the 42-member Four County Library System, but only from the libraries that charge for the service, Wise said.
Endicott’s George F. Johnson Memorial Library has been charging its patrons a reservation fee for at least the 30 years its director, Edward A. Dunscombe, has worked there.
“There’s a fair amount of work involved in reservations,” Dunscombe said.

link to article –

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