Originally Posted by calvin-c
From a business standpoint lending libraries don't seem to make sense-but their existence seems to have greatly expanded the market for books, both in terms of the number of readers & also in terms of the number of authors. And that makes good business sense-so whoever made the decision not to allow the unlimited lending of books didn't think it thru. More likely, IMO, is that they don't trust the technology that limits it to one 'readable' copy of the book at a time. (I.e. it locks the owner out until the time limit expires and locks the borrower out afterwards. A couple of questions: can a book be returned early? Can you own two copies of the same book? If so, can you lend them both out or is the lockout 'by title'?)
Personally, I'm not too sure but what whoever didn't trust the technology (if that's the reason behind this) wasn't right-except that I don't see the need for technology to enforce things that people *should* do simply to respect the rights of others. (The problem is what to do with the vast number of people who don't respect the rights of others. One solution is to shoot them, but I'm not really in favor of depopulating the earth. Nor of a 'solution' from which you can't recover if you find you've made a mistake.)
Comparing the advance of the industry that occured due to public libraries and this doesn't make sense to me. In this case, it would be more accurate to claim that the library can print off as many copies as they want after buying just one copy. I am sure that the person who came up with their policy thought this through more than you did. Not trying to be mean, but your idea there did not make any sense to me.
Also, why would a person buy multiple copies of the same book so they could lend more of them out?