RE: charging a rental fee

Mike Boedicker (
Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:24:50 -0800 (PST)

We also charge rental fees, though I wish we didn't for all the reasons
Becky outlines below. Our fees are 50 cents for VHS and $1 for DVDs. We
don't charge for any other nonprint formats. My video budget is derived
entirely from video fees and late fines, so the money IS going into that
collection, at least. But fees, however small, are a barrier for many

To improve access to the video collection, last year I started a "Free Video
Tuesdays" program (inspired by museums that offer free admission on
Tuesdays), and the response has been overwhelming. It's a Catch-22, however
-- on Tuesdays, video circ is up 5-fold, yet video revenues are actually
DOWN overall because more and more people are borrowing ONLY on Tuesdays
(previously Fridays and Saturdays were our busiest days for videos). The
decreased revenues, of course, limit our ability to build a really good
collection whose use has increased because of the free day! So I would
finally say avoid charging fees if at all possible.

Incidentally, I also hoped the free video day would boost circulation of
nonfiction videos, but no such luck. If anything, Free Video Tuesdays has
made patrons equate us even more as a Free Blockbuster -- even though our
collection is nothing like theirs.


Mike Boedicker
Audiovisual Director & Webmaster
Danville Public Library
319 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832
(217) 477-5223 ext. 123 / Fax: (217) 477-5230

Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 15:33:51 -0600
From: "Tatar, Becky" <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: RE: charging a rental fee

We do - $1 per title. Checkout is for 2 weeks, fines are $1 per day, no
grace period. Now, we also have no restriction on age limit. I wish we
could have not had a charge for DVDs, but it would have been a pr
trying to explain to patrons why videos had a charge, and dvds didn't. We
take in over $20,000 a year, and the board doesn't want to give that up.
feeling is that the charge is not legal, economically discriminatory,
discriminatory, and a poor excuse for fundraising, especially if the
proceeds do not go directly into a line item budget for video and dvd.
my 2 cents.

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505
PHONE: 630-264-4100
FAX: 630-896-3209

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Shepard []
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 3:16 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: charging a rental fee

Do any public libraries or other libraries for that matter charge patrons
rental fee for using their videos and DVDs?


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