A colleague received an E-mail from a patron soon after the patron moved to Japan. Artist and author John Becker (Japanese name Bekka Jion) told about uniformed Japanese library workers who laughed at his jokes and brought him “the hot towel to relieve weary shoulders.”
He also reports on the library workers’ answer to why they don’t have library fines: “Why should you not be responsible? If you are human, why would you want to shame yourself with thoughtless irresponsibility? And why would we shame ourselves by not trusting you, Bekka-san?”
Now there’s a different way of looking at things. Drape hot therapeutic towels over customers. Expect the return of materials as a matter of honor.
Read the entire E-mail from Japan on the East Central Libraries blog.