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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Another satisfied customer

Here's an email exchange I had with a student today. He's not happy. Must be my intemperate tone throughout:

I received an email saying that I have to pay fines for two overdue books. The books were due on May 3rd. On May 4th (Friday), i received a notice saying they were overdue. Since the following days were weekends and I work on Mondays, I was unable to return the books until May 8th (Tues). Despite this, I have still received an email saying I have to pay a fine. This is not acceptable since I was not aware of the due date. I received no email notice prior to the due date (despite always receiving one in the past) and returned the books immediately after receiving the notice. Please reconsider the fine as the reason for the late return was due to your error.

Best regards,

Dear x,

Thank you for your email.

It is your responsibility to ensure that books are returned or renewed by their due date. You can do this by monitoring your borrowing on MyLoans:

Please note that if your total fines remain below $25 this does not affect your library borrowing rights.

A full explanation of the library fine policy can be found at


Tom Goodfellow


I don't understand why the only notice I received was after the fine had been issued when in the past I always received a reminder that the due date was approaching. Since this can be automated, it is much simpler than me periodically checking some obscure site. The fault was yours in failing to send a reminder until after the fine was issued.


Dear x,

Once again, I would invite you to read the library fines policy via the link I sent. This includes the following:

“Failure to receive or read library notices, or failure to check MyLoans, are not considered valid reasons for a fine appeal.”



Anyone can create terms which exempt them from liability in the case of their own incompetence. However, this does not excuse or justify this incompetence. Please work on improving yourself and your system such that you make fewer errors in the future.