In praise of a paper receipt

Surrey library receipt

It is so well contained – shows all the information that is important, and none that isn’t.

There’s a short header with logo, timestamp and my member id.

Then, right up front in the first box, it shows the book that I just borrowed, when it’s due for return, and any associated fees.

In the next box it lists the books I already have out on loan, with due dates for each1.

In the final box it shows any fees that I have outstanding. In this case it is £1.50 for two books that I had reserved (75p each).

Then there’s a concise footer reminding members that books may also be renewed/reserved online2 (how I do it), and over telephone (for digitally disinclined).

That’s all. Simple and sufficient.

I love our library service. I am often surprised how many books I read – recent ones, old ones, popular ones, obscure ones, and on all subjects – are available to borrow. The service is efficient, and people are usually friendly and always helpful. Charges are surprisingly low, and loan periods long (4 weeks + up to 4 free renewals). And, for days that I need a break from home, I can go work from my quiet corner in the library.

In that dream world where I win the Euromillions lottery, I donate a big chunk to an annuity just to keep the library system up and running. (There’s other chunks going to Dog’s trust, National trust, Guide dogs, and BDCH)

  1. Minor quibble: Books should be listed in order of when they are due for return. 
  2. The Surrey libraries website could do with a big uplift. It’s run by an outside agency, and feels (and works) like it was designed in the early naughts. I gather a dozen UI and UX improvement suggestions every time I use it. I wish it was an open source project based on, say, Github so I could make the improvements myself and then follow-up people to review the PRs. 

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