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1. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 8y

Was wondering about libraries in different parts of the world. Was surprised when I found out that in Haiti there is a charge for each book you check out. What are they like where your from

Here in the U.S. you just have to have an verifiable local address to get a public library card. The quality of libraries varies around the country however public libraries have charges only for books, etc. returned late or not at all, or for library cards that you've lost and want to replace. Private libraries, like at universities and such are different, but usually have similar rules for "members" aka students or such. Most libraries will also find a book you want from another library if they don't have it and have it sent to them to loan out to you.

2. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y

In Singapore there's no need for library cards, just your identification card will do. Membership is free for citizens. School-going children are given a smartcard by the education ministry and that can be used to borrow books, while parents can apply for free library cards for the really young kids.

Each card can check out 4 books for 3 weeks at no charge. You're of course fined if you return the books late (15cts per book per day) and be prepared to pay a hefty amount which snowballs with fines if you lose a book. You can check out the online library catalogue and ask for books to be transferred to a branch near you (at a small cost) and return books at any branch regardless of loan location.

This would just apply to books and citizens and public libraries, there're some differences for PRs/foreigners and borrowing of magazines, audio-visual stuff etc. Borrowing of stuff and fine payment are all done at self-service kiosks, so no librarians to stamp and date your books. Our ID card is barcoded, which makes it possible :)

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

The Multnohmah County Library (Portland, Oregon) has to be one of the best, most efficient, libraries in the States. I never have to rent DVD's at all - just go online and reserve them. All materials are free to borrow, and they give you something like 21 days for all. I've never lived in a town like this - the best!

4. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 8y

In Iceland you do have to pay, I think, 1000 icelandic krona (about $12) a year if your over 18 for your library card. But no charge for taking out books. There is of course a late fee, but very minimal.

5. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 8y

In Ireland there was only a charge if you returned a book late, 20cents or something similar, while in The Netherlands you pay about 20 cents for every book your borrow........ Both are easy to join once you have ID and a bill in your name with proof of address.........

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 8y

in auckland it's free to join and rent books unless they are on the 'what's hot' shelf, which are new, in demand books, and these are $5 for the week. there is a $1 charge if you request a book and it has to be brought from another library in the area.

has anyone noticed that libraries are really noisy these days? when my parents used to take me to the library as a child I rememer we always had to be silent - nowadays parents don't seem to make any effort to quieten their kids down!

7. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y

The 20cts-per-book rule that Rraven mentions must be a local thing, since in my home town there is no charge per book, only for CDs/games and vinyl (yes, you can *still* borrow those).

Also, eveyone can become a member of university library for a ridiculously cheap price (I think as little as €15 per annum). Once a member, there is unlimited journal access through the internet, and a wealth of scientific books and novels.

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Most free city libraries in the US now also act as free cyber cafe's (minus the cafe part, but mine formerly had a Starbucks too!) Is this true for libraries in the rest of the world?

9. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member 298 posts) 8y

in canada (or vancouver, anyway), books are free to borrow anytime. we have a library card for the swiping, and the books are lent out for about a month or so. movies are about a week, i think. if it's returned late there's a small fine, something like 5 to 20 cents or something. if a book is lost then it's quite bigger than that..(but i don't know how much). internet is free, too, except that in some libraries (like the one nearest my place) you have to sign up for the internet (cause other people need it, too). so sometimes you have to wait a bit. if you need a book and it's in another branch they ship it over for you at no cost, and all you have to do is come pick it up. it's actually a pretty sweet deal altogether. :D

10. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 8y

Quoting bex76

has anyone noticed that libraries are really noisy these days? when my parents used to take me to the library as a child I rememer we always had to be silent - nowadays parents don't seem to make any effort to quieten their kids down!

Yeah, tell me about it I used to love the quiet of libraries, had this sacred feel to it, like books were the be all and end all of things and you had to respect that silence. It was awesome. Now libraries are... I dunno, like fish markets. I know they want to be more interactive with patrons and attract people from all walks of life (and ages), but ehh...

Ah well, there's a bit of nostalgia for the day