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Libraries to Start Being Spammers?

In the UK, there is a a move toward including marketing materials with each book checked out from the library. In libraries in Essex, Somerset, Bromley, Leeds and Southend, up to 500,000 promotional flyers will be handed out to patrons. The solicitations will be placed on the inside cover where the due date can be found ensuring that the advertisement is looked at least once.

As is noted by one concerned observer, impartiality and free access could be impacted by the increasing power of marketers in these public sector arenas. Certainly one could see a conflict if a major advertiser demanded a book be pulled from the library shelves. If a library relies on that advertising dollars, how might it respond to book bans?

Via Guardian.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

2 Comments

  1. Kathleen_MacIver
    Nov 05, 2007 @ 18:13:55

    You know what first occurred to me? The UK libraries obviously don’t have their book system computerized like so many libraries here, do. It’s been YEARS since I checked out a library book that had the due date stamped in it! You have to look on your receipt or log in online to find your due date. So unless they start including advertisements on their websites…

    Oops… that’s probably next.

  2. Laura Vivanco
    Nov 06, 2007 @ 04:46:51

    I’m in the UK and my local library does have a computerised system, so I can renew books online, but books are also stamped out manually. The university library has switched over to a new system which means that there’s no ink stamping into the book (you do get a paper receipt), but I think they did that in large part for convenience, because that way the students can check the books out themselves at times of night when there aren’t many librarians around, whereas the local council-run libraries are fully staffed at all times when borrowing is allowed.

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