Library fines: Is it time we scrap them, or are they what we need?

Library fines: Is it time we scrap them, or are they what we need?

A Singaporean mum states that she and her kids "have a phobia of borrowing books from public libraries" due to an incident at the local library.

Library fines have been around for as long as we can remember and it's gotten to a point that it's the norm to pay a fine if the borrowed book is returned late, damaged or lost.

We recently came across a post on Facebook posted by user mrbrown regarding a parent who refuses to pay the fine for her returned book.

The woman stated that when she and her daughter returned the book that her daughter had forgotten about at Toa Payoh library. And she had requested for the library to waive the fine because the book wasn't returned late on purpose.

However, the library only decided to decrease the fine amount to $25 as compared to the initial $31.42, which didn't please the mum.

Mum then states that she and her kids "have a phobia of borrowing books from public libraries" due to the incident.

You can read the post below:

User mrbrown uploaded the Facebook post as a response to the mum, stating that "The library system sent you reminders and the library officer even gave you a discount on your fine. And you still complain."

He also states that the library fine system is helpful in a way that borrowers will return the books early to avoid paying the fine, which in return will result in other users of the library with more books to borrow.

The reactions to the post were mostly supporting mrbrown's stand.

User Janice Tan states: "I think the library has also developed a phobia of loaning out books to irresponsible users, hence they impose a fine to deter such users from borrowing books."

Another user, Yi Li, commented on the post in response to the said mum: "This is a reminder to you not to hoard books because there are others who might need those books you borrowed. Your behaviour basically reveals a lot about your selfish attitude and the kind of example you are setting for your daughter. You should be ashamed of yourself for even asking the library to waive your fines which racked up because you didn't return the books for so many months!"

We at theAsianparent think that library fines are a way of imposing responsibility on library users and ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to the library's resources.

When you return the library books early, the other users can borrow that same book and vice versa. Also, if you're not willing to pay the fine, you can simply opt to purchase a book at a store or other means that are mostly at the average cost price of about $10-$25.


Mummies, what's your take on this? Share your thoughts with us!


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Any views or opinions expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to the author; and do not represent those of theAsianparent or its clients.

Written by

Pavin Chopra

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