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Tower Hamlets bookworms leave 10,000 books overdue

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:16 05 October 2010

by Julia Gregory FORGETFUL bookworms have failed to return more than 10,000 books worth an estimated £80,000 which they borrowed from Tower Hamlets libraries and Idea S

by Julia Gregory

FORGETFUL bookworms have failed to return more than 10,000 books worth an estimated £80,000 which they borrowed from Tower Hamlets libraries and Idea Stores.

The council's flagship Idea Store in Whitechapel is missing the largest number with 3,574 books languishing on bookshelves or under the beds of borrowers.

The council revealed in response to my Freedom of Information request that the 10,634 books are worth an estimated £80,393.04.

According to the figures which date from 2008 to June this year Bethnal Green library has 1,787 outstanding loans and the Idea Store in Chrisp Street had 1,734 missing books.

Library expert Tim Coates who founded book store Waterstones said although the figures are worrying they are the kind of numbers which go missing throughout the country.

The council's full collection of books is 378,393 books and during last year's fines amnesty a book which was a staggering 70 years overdue was returned.

Mr Coates said it was nigh on impossible to solve the problem of errant books.

"I don't like fines. What's nasty about fines is it really puts people off from using the library."

He has a charter for the future of libraries on his good library guide website which includes making libraries local and ensuring good collections.


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