Further to your piece on books going missing from Bexley libraries, I’d noticed some time ago that a new book would come in and then come up the very next month as not available.

Brand new books were going missing. I don’t understand how this happens. The library knows who took the book out so why not contact the borrower? I would suggest that they adopt the Greenwich model.

Greenwich: 1. A loan lasts three weeks. You can renew an item twice online and then you need to bring it in if you want to keep it longer. This means that the borrower cannot lose track of what they have out. 2. If you’re about to go overdue, the library sends you an email to let you know. That way you get a chance to renew before you get fined. 3. You can reserve anything that’s available in the borough and it will be sent to the library of your choice for nothing. The book, unless it’s really popular, will come in within a week. You will receive notification once it’s in. And it’ll be kept for you for two weeks. 4. You can call the library of your choice without having to go through a switchboard system. 5. DVDs cost only £1 to £2 per week and the library often has sales where you can 2 out for the price of one.

Bexley: 1. A loan lasts three weeks. You can renew an item 100 times online without having to bring it in. This means that the borrower can easily lose track of what they have out. 2. You’re not warned if you’re about to go overdue, with the consequence that those of us who do return our books can incur a fine of 74p for being just one day overdue. You can imagine how this mounts up if we forget for a week. It could mean that people fail to bring books back because of the fines they owe. 3. The library system includes libraries that are miles away, such as Redbridge. And when you reserve a book, you have to pay a fee. And it can take six weeks. Note this: This charge is an administrative fee and is payable even if we cannot supply the item. 4. You can only call the general council number and have to listen to options before getting put through. 5. Can't tell you price of DVDs at Sidcup as the council has a link that doesn’t work. (Please see our current fees and charges for more information.)

However, assuming none of this can be done, I would suggest an amnesty on unreturned books and overdue fines. If it’s advertised well, it might work.

Name and address supplied