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Using Rewards to Minimize Overdue Book Rates
Journal of Access Services
  • W. Bede Mitchell, Georgia Southern University
  • Fred W. Smith, Georgia Southern University
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For as long as many libraries have charged fines for books returned after their due dates, this familiar practice has excited comment and controversy. Fines are thought by many to deter patrons from keeping materials too long. However, others believe there is little persuasive evidence that fines are more effective at minimizing overdues than are reminder notices. Further, some critics contend charging fines is unethical, especially in public or school libraries, and the meager results are not worth the harmful public relations fines incur. The authors experimented with an alternative approach using positive reinforcement.


This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the Journal of Access Services, Volume 3, Number 1, 2005, pp.47-52, copyright Taylor & Francis; available online at

Citation Information
W. Bede Mitchell and Fred W. Smith. "Using Rewards to Minimize Overdue Book Rates" Journal of Access Services Vol. 3 Iss. 1 (2005) p. 47 - 52 ISSN: 1536-7975
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