Author Topic: Returning a library book  (Read 4816 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

AvidReader

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 139
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 03:16:22 PM »
POD with the others.

I'm a retired public librarian who worked in 3 separate systems over the course of my career.  This stuff happens all the time, especially with children's books; it's not a big deal and is nothing to worry over.  First, find out the library's policy.  Some will accept the exact same book, brand new, as a replacement; some won't.  If so, you can probably pick it up cheaper than the full retail price that the library will charge you.  Even if you provide a new copy of the book, you may expect a processing fee to apply.  Walk up to the circulation desk and talk through your situation.  Please don't just drop the book in the book return. 

Morrigan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 764
    • Requests from the Reference Desk
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 09:46:14 PM »
I would just go in, explain that he had damaged it and then take their lead.

This. I wouldn't do anything else first, including buying a copy to replace it. Every library has different policies regarding lost or damaged books so you need to find out their policy before you do anything.

And put me in the "yay for teaching your kids to love books!" group. Best way I found to get my kids to read was to turn off the TV. They had to figure out a different way to entertain themselves and books were it. Both of my sons are grown adults now and still have a love for reading.

This.

Another public librarian here, and one branch I work at will accept a duplicate copy (must be exact, ISBN etc must be perfect), and the other library won't.  They'll charge you for the book.  It all depends.

Just talk to circulation.

Side story: at the small library (that will accept a duplicate), they had a book returned that had been in a tornado.  Damaged as heck, of course, but returned!  (I don't think the person had to pay to replace that one, either.)

that_one_girl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 157
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 10:18:30 PM »
I agree with the rest of the ehellions who said to talk to the library staff before doing anything.  Some libraries want you to replace the exact book you damaged with a brand new copy, some will take a used copy that is in good condition, others want you to pay a fine and then the library staff will order a replacement copy themselves, and still others will ask you to replace the book you damaged with another book of the same category/type.

Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1486
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2014, 10:19:39 PM »
I have worked in libraries for decades, and would advise you to simply take it to the circulation desk.  DON'T buy a replacement one--libraries sometimes purchase stronger library binding copies, or this might also be a book marked for withdrawal due to lack of interest.  Let the library staff decide.  You probably will have to pay a fee.  And thank you so much for teaching your children to enjoy books, even if your son enjoyed it a little too enthusiastically!

This. Even if you buy a replacement there may be a processing charge for security strip, barcode, etc.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

ddawn23

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 210
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2014, 11:01:41 PM »
I have worked in libraries for decades, and would advise you to simply take it to the circulation desk.  DON'T buy a replacement one--libraries sometimes purchase stronger library binding copies, or this might also be a book marked for withdrawal due to lack of interest.  Let the library staff decide.  You probably will have to pay a fee.  And thank you so much for teaching your children to enjoy books, even if your son enjoyed it a little too enthusiastically!

This. Even if you buy a replacement there may be a processing charge for security strip, barcode, etc.
Another librarian here.  I'd like to double pod this, but in the opposite direction.  If we want a destroyed book replaced (which, as others have mentioned, is not always the case) we only ask that the patron pay for the cost of replacing it-- not its original cost or the list price.  And due to the nature of the publishing industry and my frankly awesome technical services and acquisitions powers the price is usually far below what the patron would pay if they just up and bought a replacement.

Flibbertigibbet

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 80
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2014, 05:54:26 AM »
I also used to work in a library (I'm in the UK) and our policy in relation to both lost and damaged books was to check the cost for a replacement of the book, and then charge a fee based on that cost, reduced by a percentage (I forget how much) for every six months that the book had been in circulation in the library. The reasoning was that the patron should only have to pay for what they had actually lost, not the cost of replacement or restocking (and preparation for restocking).

I'd therefore second the advice to explain the situation to the library staff and see what the policy is. If you purchase a new book you may be paying more than you need to - either because of a policy like my library had, or because as a PP mentioned, the library may have contracts in place that mean they don't pay full price for replacement books/benefit from economies of scale.

Alias

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2014, 09:24:04 AM »
Thanks everyone. I brought the book to the circulation desk, said 'we had a bit of an incident with this book' and was told (pretty much exact quote) 'don't worry, that's an occupational hazard of being a book in the juniors section'. He did check the computer and from something else he said I got the impression they knew it was already on the way out. Then he took back the rest of my books and sent me on my way! I felt so bad about letting the book get damaged and was really suprised they didn't want me to replace it. It was only a small board book so it wasn't expensive, but I still felt I should do something more.

And put me in the "yay for teaching your kids to love books!" group. Best way I found to get my kids to read was to turn off the TV. They had to figure out a different way to entertain themselves and books were it. Both of my sons are grown adults now and still have a love for reading.

That's pretty much what I did. When my daughter was a baby I made a decision to turn off the TV during the day. She's almost 4 and it's still off and it was a lot easier than I expected. DS is 1 1/2 and he goes over to the bookshelf, picks some books, puts them in my had then sits in my lap, saying 'book, book' to me. It is adoreable :)

Kaymar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 449
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2014, 09:27:34 AM »
Thanks everyone. I brought the book to the circulation desk, said 'we had a bit of an incident with this book' and was told (pretty much exact quote) 'don't worry, that's an occupational hazard of being a book in the juniors section'. He did check the computer and from something else he said I got the impression they knew it was already on the way out. Then he took back the rest of my books and sent me on my way! I felt so bad about letting the book get damaged and was really suprised they didn't want me to replace it. It was only a small board book so it wasn't expensive, but I still felt I should do something more.

And put me in the "yay for teaching your kids to love books!" group. Best way I found to get my kids to read was to turn off the TV. They had to figure out a different way to entertain themselves and books were it. Both of my sons are grown adults now and still have a love for reading.

That's pretty much what I did. When my daughter was a baby I made a decision to turn off the TV during the day. She's almost 4 and it's still off and it was a lot easier than I expected. DS is 1 1/2 and he goes over to the bookshelf, picks some books, puts them in my had then sits in my lap, saying 'book, book' to me. It is adoreable :)

Seriously, don't worry about it!  At my library we kept little "notes" on the record of books that had gotten beaten up but were still in circulation, so when they finally bit the dust we knew it was not the very last patron's fault.  Just continue to be a nice library patron and you will repay this (small) kindness in spades.

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1499
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2014, 09:35:52 AM »
Thanks everyone. I brought the book to the circulation desk, said 'we had a bit of an incident with this book' and was told (pretty much exact quote) 'don't worry, that's an occupational hazard of being a book in the juniors section'. He did check the computer and from something else he said I got the impression they knew it was already on the way out. Then he took back the rest of my books and sent me on my way! I felt so bad about letting the book get damaged and was really suprised they didn't want me to replace it. It was only a small board book so it wasn't expensive, but I still felt I should do something more.

If you really feel like you should have done something more, you could make a donation, either some books or money.  Our library is happy to accept used books, DVDs, music, etc., that they will sell to earn money to put back into the library for programs and services they offer. 

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6859
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 12:04:04 PM »
Returning library books can present odd problems. 

Some years ago, our library sent a book to an Ivy League college on ILL.  These loans were usually for six weeks.  We didn't get it back even though the college insisted that it had been sent. We had to write that book off as lost. 

Several years later, it turned up.  It had been deposited in the book drop of public library branch.  The strap identifying our library was intact and the branch returned it to us.  What actually happened is still a mystery.

On another occasion, we received a book we had sent out on ILL.  The spine was broken and whole signatures had been removed.  It was a complete loss.  When we contacted the library we were told that the book had been received in that condition.

Horse Hockey!   :(. We would never have sent out a book in such a bad state.  We did eventually get reimbursed for that one but it took a long, long time. 

 

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1299
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2014, 04:46:26 PM »
I think I'm starting to understand now why libraries have to deal with so many special snowflakes. We learn not to loan things out to people we can't trust and be very careful who we do loan things out to. But the very point of a library is to have access is to resources we wouldn't normally have or be able to afford. So the abuse by special snowflakes must be rampant for library systems. I'm really glad our OP is not a special snowflake! :-)

Irish Ivy

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2014, 11:32:14 AM »
I'm a current librarian and just wanted to agree with everyone who said to talk to the circulation staff about what your options are for paying a fine/replacing the book/etc. The only thing I would add is don't try to repair the book yourself! We've gotten books back that might have been salvageable if they hadn't been "fixed", and instead ended up being a total loss.

Xanadude

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2014, 03:39:49 PM »
Yet another Librarian here (I'm also Manager at my Branch): Always take it to the desk and explain what happened. If you're a regular patron and this doesn't happen frequently, I usually just chalk it up to normal damage and withdraw the book without charging the patron (seriously, the cost of the book vs the goodwill you earn).  If it happens more than once, they get a chance to replace the book at cost (bring us a replacement copy in that is new/like new).  Frequent abusers? Hasn't really happened in 19 years, but we would charge them the cost of the book plus the reprocessing fee.

Most librarians will tell you: we want our books back in good condition, but we also understand that things happen and we "Weed" our collections constantly to get rid of old or damaged material, so certain losses are built in to the process.

Just don't push a Librarian too far. We tend to not like that. :)

gwennan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2014, 04:15:04 PM »
Wow, we've got a pile of librarians here, don't we! ;D

ILL librarian in an academic library here. Coffee stains are part of our natural environment, but the two books I just got back from a patron were something new.  Evidently they'd been doused (or dunked!) in beer somewhere along the line (YUK!).  Now I have to charge her for replacement costs and let the libraries who lent the material to us know that they can invoice us in turn.  *sigh*

Shea

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4111
Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2014, 06:23:28 PM »
I'm a current librarian and just wanted to agree with everyone who said to talk to the circulation staff about what your options are for paying a fine/replacing the book/etc. The only thing I would add is don't try to repair the book yourself! We've gotten books back that might have been salvageable if they hadn't been "fixed", and instead ended up being a total loss.

We get those all the time. I'm an academic librarian, and students will frequently return books clumsily "repaired" with packing tape or even (horrors!) duct tape, then object when they receive a fine for a damaged book. "But I fixed it!" ::).


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.