April 23, 2009

I sent this last night to the British Library Direct

"To whomsoever it may concern

If you welcome our comments, I should like to put two out there. First, congratulations on a broad catalogue, an easy to use interface, and a well-organised site. Secondly, is the daylight robbery and extortion really necessary? As a student working on my dissertation, can you honestly think of a single morally justifiable reason why I should have to shell out IN EXCESS of £15 to receive an electronic document in TWO TO FIVE DAYS? What possible reason could there be for a) such a price in the first place, b) taking so long to send an article when it is obvious (given the even more ludicrously expensive quicker options), and c) the electronic form being more expensive than mail, when an email costs significantly less (if at all) than a letter and the paper to print it on? I was under the impression that libraries were supposed to be free.

Yours incensedly
Jimmy Kent"


I'm not yet sure whether I regret my decision. I did get the file almost instantly (not sure why they bother with the whole 2-5 days, that makes it sound like you'll get it in a minimum of 2 days). I definitely regret not finishing clause b), it makes me look illiterate. Anyway, we'll see how they reply.


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