Overdue fines of Library Lending Resources: Challenges and Solutions

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc. Student, Information Science and Knowledge Studies, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Information Science and Knowledge Studies, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Information Science and Knowledge Studies, Faculty of Management, Universityof Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Aim: The purpose of this research is to survey the impact of library fines on returning resources. Overdue fines are one of the mechanisms that is used to ensure returning of library resources. In addition, fines bring income to libraries, increase users’ responsibility. Some researchers believe that fines can hinder using the library by users, decrease library efficiency and waste librarian time. Therefore, receiving fines is not a suitable mechanism for returning resources. Assessing the impact of overdue fines, in addition to returning information resources, can also measure the keeping of users.
Methodology: The method of this research is descriptive. 41,400 members (until the end of 1997) of public libraries in Karaj, are the statistical population, of which 381 people participated as the sample in this study. The required data were collected using a questionnaire and analyzed using Excel and mini-tab software.
Findings: Public library users agree with the fine and consider it effective in returning timely library resources; So that it can be considered as an important factor in the timely return of resources to the library. The two main reasons for the delay in returning library resources were the forgetting of the book return date and the need for the book (even at the cost of late payment). Many users were unaware that they could extend resources online and over the phone. From the respondents' viewpoints the fine did not have a negative effect on the renewal of membership.
Conclusion: One of the main reasons for not returning resources on time is forgetting the return date. This problem can be partially solved by sending a reminder text message before and after the due date. It is possible to extend the due date of resources online in the public library institution system of the country, but most users are not aware of the features of this system. Given that people today have access to the Internet mainly through mobile phones, the design and construction of application software that can be installed on mobile phones that can easily search and extend resources, is felt. Educating library users about the general rules and regulations of the library and lending can also be effective in getting resources back on time.


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