The National Library Board (NLB) on Jan 8 announced two changes to the library policy, aimed at encouraging responsible library usage and the prompt return of borrowed library materials. This will facilitate a higher turnaround and circulation of resources which will make more resources available to library members.
From 1 April 2009, the following policy changes will be implemented:
- Disruption of Borrowing Privileges
Members with unpaid library fines and fees will have their borrowing privileges disrupted. They can immediately start to borrow again once they pay up the outstanding amount. With this policy, members can no longer accumulate unpaid library fines and fees. The change will not affect the majority of members who return their borrowed materials on time as well as those who are prompt in paying their library fines and fees.
- Removal of Renewal Fee
NLB will remove the $0.50 renewal fee for each borrowed item to encourage members to renew their borrowed materials when necessary. The current policy of allowing each borrowed item to be renewed once will remain unchanged. This policy change benefits members who are frequent users of library services. It also addresses the general feedback that members sometimes incur library fines because they require more time to read their borrowed items. Essentially, the policy change aims to facilitate the prompt return of materials thereby reducing the likelihood of members incurring library fines and fees and preventing the accumulation of unpaid accounts. By leaving the choice to renew to the members, they will be encouraged to be more responsible through proactively managing their own library accounts by tracking their loans and renewing them as and when needed. All borrowed items can only be renewed before or on the due date. Items which have been reserved by other patrons cannot however be renewed.
“These policy changes encourage the prompt return of library materials. The majority of members will have better access to library resources and benefit from the faster turnaround of resources. Ultimately, this will lead to better use of public resources and benefit more people,” said Dr N Varaprasad, NLB Chief Executive.