And it’s not through fines:
Late fines weren’t very effective at getting people to return materials, officials said.
Instead, patrons seem to be more motivated to return items to avoid replacement costs and losing borrowing privileges than they were to avert accumulating fees, officials said.
Late fees were a drain on library resources, and collecting them did not promote a good relationship with patrons, said Tim Kambitsch, the executive director of the Dayton Metro Library.
“A long time ago, the overdue fines stopped having an impact on people’s timeliness of returning items,” he said. “What’s really made a big difference is that we’ve been more aggressive in how people’s borrowing privileges get limited with the new policy if they don’t return items.”
There’s a late episode of the Cosby Show where one of the replacement kids broke the rules and accepted the punishment as the cost of doing so. Cliff and Claire had to explain that it wasn’t meant to be transactional like that.
I thought about that when reading this. Apart from actually going after their ability to check out library books, a lot of people can probably internalize fines as a sort of rental fee. Whereas this makes them feel like they are doing something wrong, and the inability to rent other things out reinforces this fact. This makes it non-transactional.