A receipt from a public library has gone viral but sparked debate.
Reddit user penguinska9 posted a photo of the library receipt they received from Wichita Public Library, in the US state of Kansas, last week.
The receipt includes an amount of money the borrower has saved by choosing to use the library instead of purchasing them, in this instance it’s AU$240 based on the novels she had borrowed that day.
It also includes figures for how much the borrower has saved in the past 12 months and since they joined the library.
According to the receipt, pensuinska9 has saved more than AU$10,400 since she became a member of the library.
The Reddit user added their family of six all use the library on a weekly basis.
The Wichita Public Library told Yahoo Lifestyle the program was adopted in 2016.
The library’s communications specialist, Sean Jones, said people enjoyed seeing how much they were saving.
“It creates a great discussion topic among their circle of friends and lets customers encourage friends to use the library,” Mr Jones said.
However, since the receipt made the rounds on Twitter, people have argued whether libraries are beneficial to the authors.
“I don’t mind being that really horrible person that supports authors by buying their books,” one man tweeted.
A woman added “unfortunately” by borrowing books instead of purchasing them “the authors aren’t getting paid”.
“I say buy the book, read it, donate it to a used book sale that raises money for charity,” she tweeted.
Another man added the receipt sends a “weird message”.
“I’m a heavy library user for books and movies. I know libraries buy a lot of books, but putting the value on the receipt kind of seems like ‘Look how much you didn’t give the authors!’” he tweeted.
Might be a good spot for a fundraising message: look at all the money you saved, now please donate a fraction of that to keep libraries healthy and accessible to all.— Sarah Fulford (@sarah_fulford) August 12, 2019
But others argued the receipt is an example of how libraries play “an important societal role”.
“It ensures free access of information and it's driven by public interest and not revenues,” one woman tweeted.
Another added it was a sound fundraising message.
“Look at all the money you saved, now please donate a fraction of that to keep libraries healthy and accessible to all,” she tweeted.
In the US and Australia, authors are covered by the public lending right or PLR.
The PLR sees authors compensated by the government for potential loss of sales when their books are made available to public libraries.
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