The topic of library fees is a thorny one for staff and customers. Many library customers are surprised that we ‘remember’ fees for items that were returned overdue several years ago. The wonder of automated library management systems, the databases that record all the ins and outs of our library collections, is that records of overdue fees can be kept indefinitely.
Be reassured you are not alone – Rolling Stone and author Keith Richards has recently admitted that he possibly owes about £3,000 in overdue fees to the library he frequented as a boy. That’s over 50 years ago.
A receptionist at Dartford Library said yesterday: “For fines going back 50 years it’s going to be tough to work out exactly how much is owed. We’d have to check the archives. Usually the biggest fines we issue are around £100.”
A fan of libraries, I’m sure Keith Richards won’t mind paying those fess. The former bad boy of rock says he felt at home in the peaceful surroundings of the library, despite his rebellious reputation: “To me it was a place where you get a hint there was somewhere called civilisation.”
“It was the only place where I would willingly obey the laws, like silence. It was somewhere I could find out about things I was interested in.”
Keith Richards memoir, Life is available on the Adult Non Fiction shelves at 920 RIC.
Read the article in The Mirror here.