Wellington book borrowing times to be cut

20:22, Jun 13 2012
SHORTER WAITS, LONGER BORROWS: Those looking to get a hold of that hot title will see reduced waiting times under new borrowing rules.

Wellington library is cutting its loan times to try and make in-demand books more accessible.

Wellington City Libraries is to shorten the standard issue period for books from four weeks to three weeks from July 1

However, the renewal period will be lengthened from one week to three weeks and the $1 renewal fee will be dropped.

This will take the maximum loan period, with a renewal, from five weeks to six weeks.

A more relaxed stance on overdue fees was also to be adopted with a further two days' grace before overdue fees kicked in.

This was to reflect the "busy lifestyles" of modern customers, said Wellington City Library team leader John Stears.

He said feedback on the changes had been "overwhelmingly positive".

"For items that aren't [reserved], this will allow people to get the book in effect for longer by being able to do a free renewal."

Some borrowers had noted it took "quite a while for people to get the items they've reserved," Stears said. Shortening the standard loan period would address that.

"This will actually allow items that are on reserve to go through the system faster."

The majority of borrowers already returned their book within three weeks, he said.

"It is tightening the loan period a little, but we've based it on the fact that most customers do return their item within that loan period anyway."

Since July 1 2011, about 80 per cent of books were returned within 28 days of their due date, 60 per cent were returned within eight days of the due date and 28 per cent within one to two days, Stears said.

In the year to May 31, there were 2,765,146 items borrowed from Wellington Libraries.

A change in statistical recording methods meant a number for the previous period was not available but, anecdotally, Stears believed borrowing numbers had seen a "slight decline".

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The Dominion Post