A post of a teenager’s public library checkout receipt has gone viral for revealing how much money he have saved by borrowing books. It seems like a strange thing to go viral, but the receipt has sparked debate and enthusiasm among book lovers.
Sixteen-year-old Keegan Adreon posted his receipt on reddit that showed that he had saved over $7000 since joining the library. The receipt revealed that the library “keeps track of how much you save by not buying books and borrowing instead.”
The receipt printed out that he had saved $1384.23 in the past year and $7,078.76 since Adreon began using the Peters Township Public Library in Pennsylvania.
According to Adreon the amounts have been accumulated by a six-person family and that they visit the library on a weekly basis. “There are six people in my family so a trip to the library every week really adds up,” Adreon told CTVNews.ca via Reddit. Adreon is a mystery book reader and said he hadn’t looked at the library receipts before but he was “very surprised when I first saw it and immediately shared the fact with my family.”
Many redditors were delighted by the idea, which they believe would encourage more people to visit their local libraries and take advantage of the savings.
“Wow that’s brilliant! Seeing those figures might encourage more people to use a library!” one Redditor commented.
The project did have its detractors with a few people voicing concerns that the practice would take money away from book authors. “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!’ Seems like a weird message,” tweeted one user.
However, overall the consensus was positive with many pointing out that libraries encourage reading and create markets for adults to buy books. One librarian commented, “Libraries create far more revenue by making readers than any loss. For example, I’m a librarian, books at hand all day, but if I like a book, I buy it and start buying every other book in that series or by that author, because I want to reread and have it avail for my kids.”
Wichita Public Library is another library that has adopted the “You Saved” feature as well and told Yahoo News that there are a number of other libraries that use the same system and although they track the cost of an item being borrowed the system does not attach it to a specific title so a person’s reading history remains confidential.
“Customers enjoy seeing how much money they’re saving by using the Wichita Public Library,” Sean Jones, the library’s communications specialist said. “It creates a great discussion topic among their circle of friends and lets customers encourage friends to use the Library.”
The highest dollar amount saved by a customer’s account since this feature was implemented at the Wichita Public Library is $196,076.21.