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View Poll Results: Is it OK to use an elibrary card to which youíre not entitled by residence or fee?
Itís wrong and I donít do it. 30 73.17%
Itís not wrong but I donít do it. 6 14.63%
Itís wrong but I do it anyway. 1 2.44%
Itís not wrong and I do it. 2 4.88%
Iíve kept using old cards after a move until they expire. 2 4.88%
I have a friend or family member get me a card. 2 4.88%
I use a VPN to make it look as if Iím a resident. 1 2.44%
Other dodgy practice. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-02-2022, 02:10 PM   #1
issybird
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Library cards and morality

What’s immoral about a library card, you may well ask. Nothing, obviously.

Except. I’m always rather surprised as how open people are about getting or using library cards to which they’re not entitled as a resident or taxpayer. Sharing a card with a friend, for example, and what I think is most common, continuing to use cards after they’ve moved elsewhere. I suspect some have a friend or family member sign them up with a geographically valid IP combined with a physical address. There have been posts about the high costs of borrows to the lending institution, so this isn’t a victimless issue.

So I wonder what people’s thoughts and practices are and do they do things they in fact think they shouldn’t. The poll is private; it’s multiple choice because I’d like people to indicate what they think is the morality of the issue and how they behave, using what means.

ETA: Just to clarify: In terms of this poll, this is not a question of paid-for cards by an out-of-area user, but of cards where the user isn’t entitled and doesn’t meet the terms of use, but uses a fiddle to get access anyway.

Last edited by issybird; 08-02-2022 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:52 PM   #2
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It's definitely wrong to obtain/use library cards that you're not qualified for. Considering how restrictive publishers are with their rather severe terms for the books that libraries obtain, it only drives up costs when borrowers who have no right to check out these books, reduce the number of check outs available. That forces libraries to either spend more money on books or cut back on services. How fair is that to the local taxpayers who fund these libraries?

There are plenty of legal, and moral, options out there to obtain books. Why cheat the local taxpayers out of their hard earned money?
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Old 08-02-2022, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
What’s immoral about a library card, you may well ask. Nothing, obviously.

Except. I’m always rather surprised as how open people are about getting or using library cards to which they’re not entitled as a resident or taxpayer. Sharing a card with a friend, for example, and what I think is most common, continuing to use cards after they’ve moved elsewhere. I suspect some have a friend or family member sign them up with a geographically valid IP combined with a physical address. There have been posts about the high costs of borrows to the lending institution, so this isn’t a victimless issue.

So I wonder what people’s thoughts and practices are and do they do things they in fact think they shouldn’t. The poll is private; it’s multiple choice because I’d like people to indicate what they think is the morality of the issue and how they behave, using what means.
Overdrive does not use GeoIP. I can access my accounts from anywhere. I do it when I'm on vacation. I've accessed Overdrive in the middle of the ocean. I've done it in Mexico, the Bahamas, etc. I've done it in Scotland. I've done it in Florida, New York, and some other states. If Overdrive did use GeoIP, then out of state cards would not work.

Last edited by JSWolf; 08-02-2022 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:28 PM   #4
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She didn't say that Overdrive uses GeoIP. There are some library systems that allow you to get a card online that do use GeoIP though. I saw several when I was looking for libraries that allow anyone to pay a fee to get a card (Tennessee, maybe?). No time to go back and look right now.

(And can you fix your quote, please?)
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:06 PM   #5
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@issybird: Where do elibrary cards which are available to non-residents for a fee fall in this poll?
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odamizu View Post
@issybird: Where do elibrary cards which are available to non-residents for a fee fall in this poll?
I do have such cards and answered based on those being cards I am entitled to use even though I am a non-resident for those libraries.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odamizu View Post
@issybird: Where do elibrary cards which are available to non-residents for a fee fall in this poll?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
I do have such cards and answered based on those being cards I am entitled to use even though I am a non-resident for those libraries.
jhowell is correct. These cards are just as legitimate as cards local patrons are entitled to. Libraries base these fees on what local taxpayers are assessed for library services.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:29 PM   #8
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This is confusing to me since the wording is very specific: "elibrary card to which you’re not entitled as a resident/taxpayer". The way it's worded doesn't include elibrary cards offered to non-residents for a fee.

In any case, the only library card I have is for my local library, which I am entitled to as a resident/taxpayer.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:02 PM   #9
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Ah, so this is obviously the problem, rather than the massive price-fixing/gouging the publishers are doing on the eBook licensing scheme.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odamizu View Post
@issybird: Where do elibrary cards which are available to non-residents for a fee fall in this poll?
No issue at all with those! Itís an upfront transaction sanctioned by the issuing library.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:29 PM   #11
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Ah, so this is obviously the problem, rather than the massive price-fixing/gouging the publishers are doing on the eBook licensing scheme.
I honestly donít get this. Itís OK to use a fiddle to get a library card for free, just because publishers engage in price-fixing? Itís not even as if the publishers will bear the costs; itís the taxpayers in the community where you donít live.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:27 AM   #12
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This is confusing to me since the wording is very specific: "elibrary card to which youíre not entitled as a resident/taxpayer". The way it's worded doesn't include elibrary cards offered to non-residents for a fee.
Exactly. There is no option for this in the poll.

I have like 5 library cards, not all from my local area. Most libraries in Pennsylvania are part of a state wide program that allows non-residents/non-taxpayer individuals to get a library card based on having a library card to their local library that's part of this statewide program. Not all libraries are a part of this. Of the libraries that aren't a part of this, some allow non-resident cards for a fee. All of those are legitimate and don't have an option in the poll.

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Old 08-03-2022, 07:14 AM   #13
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Exactly. There is no option for this in the poll.

I have like 5 library cards, not all from my local area. Most libraries in Pennsylvania are part of a state wide program that allows non-residents/non-taxpayer individuals to get a library card based on having a library card to their local library that's part of this statewide program. Not all libraries are a part of this. Of the libraries that aren't a part of this, some allow non-resident cards for a fee. All of those are legitimate and don't have an option in the poll.

Greg
Iíve tried to clarify that the poll is about library cards to which youíre not entitled, but are obtained by dubious methods.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:27 AM   #14
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This is confusing to me since the wording is very specific: "elibrary card to which youíre not entitled as a resident/taxpayer". The way it's worded doesn't include elibrary cards offered to non-residents for a fee.

Why is this confusing? The question specifically asks about the morality/ethicality of using something to which one is NOT entitled. If one BUYS access from the supplier (through payment of a fee to them), obviously one is entitled, and there is no ethical or moral dilemma.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:17 AM   #15
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Whatís immoral about a library card, you may well ask. Nothing, obviously.
But getting something you are not entitled to in many countries is fraud, a criminal offence.
Like a discount for a new customer when you are an old customer, but used a different payment method.
Or getting a "poverty" fuel allowance by lying about your assets (offshore of course).

Fraud is essentially a form of theft by lying.
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