Library policy requires students pay price for late reserves

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Library policy requires students pay price for late reserves

 Judging a book by its cover is often a mistake many tend to make.

Delta College’s Goleman Library has strived to improve students’ access to books for years.

The library “Reserve Program” allows Delta students to check out classroom books and materials for one hour to study and do homework.

However, with such a generous program there is a hidden fee. 

This semester paying for books for all of my classes seemed financially impossible. Luckily, I could turn to the Reserve Program.

After selecting the book I needed for class, I was informed that if I went over the designated time slot, a $5 fee would be charged.

This seemed like a normal late fee process, until Kate Itrovich, librarian, said: “Our late fees are $5 per hour that you go over your time limit.”

I was flabbergasted and outraged.

Is it practical to charge students $5 per hour in late fees when all students are trying to do is excel in classes?

“If I return the book at an extensive time period late, I feel that I should be charged. But if not cut me some slack! But then again, it’s college and you don’t get cut slack,” said Delta College student, Erica Suarez, who was upset to hear about the fee charges.

Does the library have the right to charge students late fees, and where does the late fee money go?

The only way to get the correct answers and clarification was to go straight to the source.

Josefina Gomez, library science, said the library was allowed to charge late fees and clarified where all the money collected went.

“About 90 percent or more of our books from the Reserve Program are not from our Delta teachers,” she said. “An ASP grant is used to purchase text books for our program, and when teachers put up books for reserve they fill out a form that clarifies that there are rules to be followed.” 

On the form it clearly states the Goleman Library is allowed to impose rules, which include late fees. 

There’s a reason for the library to charge high late fees.

“Students keep books for too long. Charging a fee encourages students to be fair and return books for others,” said Gomez, “All money collected goes back to Delta’s general fund and sometimes can be used to purchase new books for students.” 

“Five dollars is high, but it could keep students accountable,” concurred English Professor Shelley Hanna.

Five dollars per hour might seem high, but it does keep the Reserve Program organized and gives all Delta students an equal opportunity to use the books.