RE: [Videolib] borrowing fees for videos

Frame, Steve (
Tue, 9 Nov 2004 12:28:54 -0800

The Torrance Public Library does not charge for any audio visual material.

Previously TPL charged $1 per day to check out videos. In 2001 the Library
eliminated that daily fee. One of the rationales for that decision is that
there really is no difference between video - specifically feature films -
and fiction books. They are both used as entertainment. In addition,
non-fiction videos were not being used because patrons would not pay to use
them. Thus, we decided we to eliminate the barrier - namely the daily use
fee - which greatly limited the use of the video collection.

Since 2001 the average monthly circulation for videos has increased from
approximately 900 to nearly 15,000. Clearly, the video fees greatly reduced
the number of videos checked out. A large percentage of the items checked
out are now non-fiction titles which were rarely used when patrons were
required to pay for their use. There is, however, a larger fine if
videos/DVDs are returned late - 1 dollar per day versus .25 cents - which
has more than made up for the loss of revenue for charging a daily fee for
the use of videos.

Remember that fees are barriers to use whether we realize that fact or not.

Steve Frame
Senior Librarian
Torrance Public Library,
Henderson Branch

-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah Beasley []
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 8:52 AM
Subject: [Videolib] borrowing fees for videos

Hi All,

I am sure this topic has been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything
in the archives.

We are beginning a discussion about the possibility of charging a small
borrowing fee for feature films. I'm interested in hearing from other
public libraries that charge for videos. How much do you charge? Do you
charge for everything in the collection? If not, what do you charge for and
how do you define what falls into that category? If you have a written
statement/policy that you are willing to share, I'd love to see a copy.


Sarah Beasley
Manager, Film and Audio Department
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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