Saturday, 13 August 2011

Library to Charge Youngsters

Fining pre-school children is a bad idea according to local Hedge End councillor, and leader of the Lib Dem opposition at Hampshire County Council, Keith House.
Commenting on Hampshire Conservatives' plan to charge children for the late return of library books Cllr House revealed an alarming statistic.
“Charging late fees for children is a reading tax. This all covers up the more amazing fact that the county has lost 30,000 books in recent years.  The council should concentrate on tracking down these rather than discouraging children reading."
 Perhaps a well-publicised amnesty would encourage adults to return some of those 30,000 books rather than putting more pressure on families already struggling with reduced income and higher prices for everything from food to electricity.

Read the full story here.


  1. An amnesty is a good idea and might help recover some of the books. I agree with Cllr House that this is a reading tax and detrimental to giving libaries a positive image - think again Hampshire Conservatives.

  2. Hang on. Haven't we been saying all week that bad parenting and lack of respect for various rules, regulations and the law of the land are some of the factors that underly all the rioting...?

    Getting people to return library books on time would seriously not be a bad idea, but to do that there needs to be a penalty. Only a small token fine, never exceeding the cost of replacing the book, but it is essential. The prospect of a fine certainly made me careful to return my library books on time when I was little and that experience hasn't done me any harm...

    Lets not spin it around to be a "tax on reading". That's just looney liberal propaganda, the sort of nonsense that has made this county the soft touch that it currently is...

  3. Well, it could be that encouraging youngsters to read is more important than using library fines as a means of teaching them responsibility. I wouldn't want to see even one family discouraged from allowing their children to participate in the library service.

  4. If they return their books on time, there isn't a problem. Nobody need ever pay a fine. It just requires a bit of planning and some self-discipline...