How to double kill a library patron

National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore take note;

Not everyone will be able to renew borrowed material on-time, and especially true for the following group of people. Some people (like me) strategized with precision to renew their materials right-on-time-of-due-date (just to maximize the duration of the borrowing). The latter groupĀ  unfortunately are prone to crash-and-burn if they miss by a day or two..

Alas, in our National library, we will crash-and-burn sometimes, (1st kill). However, we don’t just crash-and-burn, at online NLB there is no “fire-extinguisher” nearby to extinguish the “fire”, so we just “crash-and-burn-to-ashes” (2nd kill).

Let me explain. If I forget to press the renew button before 11.59 pm on the due-date; I will not be able to renew my material on the next day (plus I will have to pay a day’s fine). This is all due to the kick-in mechanism that NLB implemented to prevent patrons who don’t pay up fine from borrowing (and renewing) books.

Well, not a problem (you say), because I can go to the library and physically have the book renewed at the counter? Now imagine that you are out-station and will only be back after a week’s time (or two), and you have 3 books with you. If the fine is sgd 0.50 per day per book – you would have accumulated sgd 21.00 by the second week !!!!! All this just because you forgot to click the renew button on-time???

Come-on NLB, I don’t mind if you prevent patrons who don’t pay up their fine from borrowing books; but at least allow those who are currently loaning the book to renew when they forgot to do so on-time (although there is outstanding fine due to the missed few days).

Is it so difficult to tweak the super sophisticated online system to discern these two categories of patrons?

Right now I’m soooo…. glad to be in Singapore and a walking distance to return these books.