The suggestions in this article are so wrong in so many ways… For example, I can guarantee that if fees were assessed by how many items you checked out, the number of items being checked out would rapidly drop, so the amount of money raised will not match the expectation. So even though his town circulated 600,000 items in 2010, there is no way the library would be able to raise $300,000 by charging 50 cents per item. My public library used to charge $1 to check out a DVD, but they stopped that a couple of years ago and I’m betting the DVDs are circulating much better now (there’s certainly a better selection than there used to be, but I don’t know if the fee had anything to do with the selection).
The comments may be the best part of this article.
A good counterpoint article: Why We Need Free Public Libraries More Than Ever