Library Book Loan Period Extended

Nat McCloud ’23, Staff Writer

Dickinson College’s Waidner-Spahr library has revised their book loan policy and will now allow students to check out books for 16 weeks instead of the previous four weeks. However, no books will be available for renewal. Previously students were able to check out books for four weeks at a time and were able to repeatedly renew books. 

Associate Director for Access Services Maureen O’Brien Dermott explained that the change was necessary because “last year […] we had the opportunity to rethink all of our library loan policies. The previous loan period of four weeks with two additional four-week renewals put an undue burden on students to remember to renew their books,” she said and explained students “requested and were granted semester-long borrowing privileges.”

Dermott explained that to “eliminate the burden of renewals” the loan period was extended for books, films, course materials, laptops and reference books. She continued, “our interlibrary loan E-ZBorrow partners have also extended loan periods to 16 weeks, adding to a consistent policy for our students.” The interlibrary loan program is accessible through the Waidner-Spahr website.

Dermott believes that the longer loan period will not cause issues for students, due to the accessibility of partner library programs. “Students who discover a book is checked out can easily request the item from within JumpStart by clicking on the borrow from other libraries quick link,” she said.

However the library has cautioned that this change is not necessarily permanent, and will consider changing the policy as needed. “As with all changes to service, the library will monitor and assess the impact the loan period changes have had on students over the next year and adapt as needed,” Dammot said.

Director of Library Services Elanor Mitchell said “this, as everything we do, is to make using library information resources easier for our students – and we encourage everyone to use interlibrary loan whenever their desired item is checked out – it is very fast and easy!”

Aiden Sichel ’23 supports the change. “I haven’t checked out a book yet, but I’m going to for my next essay. I know I’m going to want it for a while,” he said.

Other students feel the new loan period is too long and that the original borrowing period allowed for easier accessibility of books. According to Maia Uphoff ’22, 16 weeks is “excessive” because it “leaves a lot of room for books to get lost or forgotten or not be usable for other students.”