Tim,
Ooh the fun of being on two lists (might get complicated though).
I understand the sensitivity of the situation (and the legality - though thanks for reminding us all David). However there are occasions where it is perfectly legitimate to make a charge for a service. The question is what are you charging for?
If it's just a book to read then clearly no, but what about sets of things?
Some authorities charge for the hire of sets of vocal scores or playsets.
Schools Resources Services charge schools for boxes of books (and may well be run in part or in whole by funding from the schools that sign up)

Could Reading Group sets be seen in the same way as choir or orchestra sets?

It seems to me that it is perfectly reasonable to charge for a service which is over and above main stream. So access to a set of stock, use of a room, a librarian to co-ordinate the group, all of these may be legitimate to charge for.
Point is, as Frances said on the Lis Pub Libs list (lower down on this thread)  we need to do some costings and not just pluck a figure from the air.

Alyson Hogarth
Stock Manager
Middlesbrough Libraries and Information
01642 729420





"O'Dell,Tim" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent by: Reader Development Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>

16/08/2010 15:20
Please respond to
Reader Development Mailing List              <[log in to unmask]>; Please respond to
"O'Dell,Tim"         <[log in to unmask]>

To
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Subject
Re: Reading Groups and charges





Most of the book groups we supply are based in library buildings and therefore charging would seem out of the question. I generally think, however, that the idea of charging runs completely contrary to the idea of a free library service - I would be completely against any charging of this type - before we know it books to schools or hostels or maybe the middle classes will be next?

I do understand that with 700 reading groups (700 - go Surrey!), that the issue is bigger, but if the books are drawn from stock on reservation then the same service exists regardless of the charging. Reading groups, which have been the major success story of reading in the last 10 years, shouldn't be alienated from Libraries but embraced as part of the future.  

Sometimes we do have to resist pressure - I'm getting sick of heads of service appearing in CILIP publications telling everyone the cuts we're facing are an 'opportunity'!

We must fight for a free, national public library service and not pass on the pain to our users.

Tim

Tim O'Dell
Reader Development Officer
London Borough of Lambeth
Brixton Library
Brixton Oval
London SW2 1JQ

Tel: 0207 926 1105
Email: [log in to unmask]

Making a Difference

-----Original Message-----
From: Reader Development Mailing List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Kenvyn
Sent: 16 August 2010 15:12
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reading Groups and charges

Have I missed something?   The legislation, as I recall, makes no
difference between loaning books to individuals or groups.   So we are not
allowed to charge.

Regards
David Kenvyn,
Area Operations Leader
East Dunbartonshire Council

Tel: 0141 775 4519
Fax: 0141 776 0408
E-Mail: As above


                                                                         
            Alyson Hogarth                                                
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Frances,
This is a good point. I suspect the main reason is that until now Reading
Groups have not only been main stream but a significant part of our move to
increase issues and visitor figures. Now of course and suddenly we're faced
with a completely different set of beans to count - how much money will the
government let us have? Therefore, what can we do to raise income and
ensure that at least some of the good work we've all been doing doesn't
disappear over the hill with our budgets.

I'm slightly surprised this conversation has taken place only on Lis pub
Libs - so if I've done the e-mail address right I'm trying to forward it to
the Reader Development list as well, as this is surely an important
question for their work.

Alyson Hogarth
Stock Manager
Middlesbrough Libraries and Information
01642 729420




                                                                         
Frances Hendrix <[log in to unmask]>                            
Sent by: "lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries"                              
<[log in to unmask]>                                          To
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                                                        MAIL.AC.UK        
16/08/2010 14:17                                                       cc
                                                                         
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               Please respond to                        Re: Reading      
 Frances Hendrix <[log in to unmask]>          Groups and        
                                                        charges          
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         





I have glimpsed at these emails on Charges for reading groups

One thing that amazes me (and it is not that you should charge for a
premium
service)., BUT that you are charging so little, without any sense of why
that amount has been chosen. Is it based on a true business case, taking
into account all costs, of space, time, labour?

f
Frances Hendrix
Martin House Farm, Hilltop Lane, Whittle le Woods, Chorley, Lancs PR6 7QR,
UK
tel: 01257 274 833.  fax: 01257 266 488
email: [log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "Craig Jones" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: Reading Groups and charges


In Surrey we've recently introduced a charge for reading groups, as of 1st
August 2010. They used to be able to borrow sets of their chosen title free

of charge for 13 weeks. We've now reduced that to 6 weeks and have
introduced a 2 per set reservation fee. This 2 is the same whether
they're
borrowing 5 copies or 10 etc. We did a user survey in Dec/Jan of our
reading
groups in general and people indicated that they would be prepared to pay
if
it meant that they had access to the new book stock, rather than having to
wait a year for it. The only way we could do this was by reducing their
loan
time, as 13 weeks tied up the new stock. So far, from the nearly 700
reading
groups that we have attached to the libraries in Surrey, only 1 group has
objected to the charge. We notified them about a month ago, so there's been

time for them to respond if they weren't happy. We did consider an annual
charge, but felt that the logistics of collecting the fee, the issues of
those groups who didn't use it very often, those groups who have 5 members
and those who have 15 etc, were getting too complicated. The 2 is attached

to the borrower category, so it automatically triggers when someone
reserves
a title.

Craig Jones


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