March 1st, 2014 Brian Herzog
Have you noticed that Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately? I think that's where this question came from.
A patron walked over to me at the Reference Desk, from the general direction of our print station, and asked,
Can I pay for my printouts with Bitcoin?
I think he was just being funny, but he did it completely deadpan so I wasn't sure. In any case, I told him we do not accept Bitcoin. He then responded with,
Okay, I'll pay with my credit card.
To which again I had to say no, the pay-for-print machine is cash-only. He may have been actually disappointed about the credit card, because he had to go across the street to the bank machine to get some cash. Luckily we have a bank machine so close by, but I still feel bad every time I make someone do this.
Incidentally, we don't accept Paypal either.
September 14th, 2013 Brian Herzog
Here's one of those questions where I wish I had gotten the patron's contact information, because not only did I find out after the fact that I gave him bad information, but I also found a good answer later on, too.
One afternoon someone from the Circ Desk called down to Reference. She said there was a patron who wanted to donate money to an online charity, but all he had was cash and he wanted to know if we could help him.
I immediately started to mental spin through all the ways I knew of to pay for something online, and none of them originated with an actual fistful of dollars. The best idea I could come up with on the spot was some kind of prepaid credit card, which is not something the library offers (but I know there are lots out there). However, right across the street from us is a bank, so I just recommended he go over and check with them, optimistically hoping a bank product would be some kind of cash card he could use.
After work that day curiosity got the better of me, so I walked over to the bank and asked them this question myself - and I was surprised that the teller's answer was "no." She said the closest thing they had were regular debit cards, but those are tied to an account. She said they do get requests for something like a prepaid cash card, because lots of bank customers don't want to expose their account information online at all - but they just didn't offer any kind of "internet gift card."
That phrase made some connection for me, and got me wondering if PayPal offered a gift card, much like I see eBay and Amazon gift cards for sale at cash registers. Sure enough, they do! I also found Green Dot MoneyPak, CoinStar, PayNearMe.com, and CashPayment.com.
Drat that I didn't think of this when the patron was in the library. Of course, he'd still have to find a nearby participating retail location, and the charity would have to accept one of these, but at least there is a way to turn cash into an internet-friendly form.
March 17th, 2009 Brian Herzog
Considering the current economic times, this might actually be a good idea - but I think they should've waited until April 1st to announce it.
...From today, customers borrowing books will also be able to take out financial loans for a period of three weeks, though it may be possible to renew the terms of these agreements provided no other customer is waiting to borrow the cash...
Read more here. Thanks, VAT.
Tags: cash, economic, economy, humor, joke, lend, lending, libraries, Library, loan, loaning, loans, money, newsbiscuit, public