Library Late Fees and The Failure Mode of Clever

If ever you were looking for a library-related example of John Szalzi’s aphorism “the failure mode of clever is ‘asshole'” just take a gander at this recent post on The Federalist.

Libraries all over the country are ending the longstanding library tradition of fining patrons for returning books late or not at all. It’s another self-destruction tactic subtler and less morally abominable than using their dedicated taxpayer funds to purchase pornography for children.

Our local government library ended late fees in the last year, so I quickly stopped returning books on time. The lack of fees was especially helpful in recently allowing me to keep for an extra month the book Albion’s Seed. I couldn’t manage to finish that magnificent tome in the usual three-week checkout period. So I just kept ignoring the “overdue book” notifications the library frantically sent. If there’s no penalty, why should I care?

Read the full article @ The Federalist

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