Library hold policy (was Re: freedom and necessity)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Thu Feb 28 06:48:32 EST 2002

Bettina wrote:

>In our University's Library it works that way. Not that I wever thought of
>them as "technologically advanced" :-) When you order a book it's already
>your account as "order" and only you can check it out. But you can use
>people's cards, I did it regularly for the Prof I work for. She's a woman
>but I don't think they'd believe I'm her. (Her title is on the card).

Hum. That's generally not a good idea, not for the library necessarily (we
just want to know who the books are on loan to) but for the person who has
lent the card- they can suddenly find that the library is asking them to
return or replace hundreds of [monetary units] worth of books that they have
never seen. I'd probably look up user records and let people who lived at
the same address use each others' cards, but not anybody else, because a lot
of peoples' friends have turned out not to be as trustworthy as they
thought. I've written a *lot* of overdue letters. 
("But X *promised* they'd give it back for me"... "Well, it's still your
responsibility while it's on your card. I suggest you get X to repay you the
?Y you now owe us, if you can.")
NB not you, Bettina! Just in general, it's a Bad Idea and can lead to
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