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A guide to group charges at Surrey Performing Arts Library

This guide applies to registered music or drama groups borrowing multiple copy sets from Surrey Performing Arts Library (SPAL). It does not apply to anyone borrowing a single score or copy of a play.

Why are we increasing the charges?

Surrey Performing Arts Library will have their budget reduced by £180,000 from 1 April 2018. Since this was announced in 2017, the library service has been looking at ways to operate with such a reduction in budget. Having taken options to the Communities Select Committee on 7 November 2017, we are now looking at alternative ways of providing a service. For updates see the SPAL webpages.

Prices have been held steady for several years and are widely regarded as extremely competitive. During the recent survey of users, several commented that they would be willing to pay higher charges to help retain the service. The Select Committee also recommended that we review our charges to music and drama groups.

Is this price increase set for one year?

This February price increase is one step towards making the service more financially viable. As we look at all the options, it is likely that there will be further changes to the charges within the next 12 months.

Why is there a different rate for groups based outside Surrey?

SPAL is well known as one of the biggest collections of its type in the country. Its stock is used by other library authorities via the Inter Library Loan (ILL) system. Funded by Surrey's Council Tax, it is a service primarily for Surrey residents. The charge for groups outside the county is in line with our responsibility to make the best use of resources for our residents, whilst recognising SPAL's prominence and importance to music and drama groups within the south east.

Why do the hire and reservation charges vary so much between the different types of material?

The variation in charges reflects the administrative work and time involved in issuing, discharging and checking the material which can vary considerably, for example between handling 10 play texts and 120 vocal scores.

When do groups pay the charges?

To borrow any sets, your group must have subscribed to the service by paying the appropriate annual subscription.

Hire charges: once we know what title and how many copies you want to borrow, we will tell you the total charge, so you will be fully aware of costs before you agree to borrow the material. Your group will need to pay the hire charges before the material is either collected from SPAL or sent to another library for collection.

Reservation charges: these must be paid before your request is progressed and can be paid by cash, cheque or card. You can also make your reservation via email or online and once you receive confirmation of your request you will need to contact SPAL, in order to pay.

How can groups pay?

Groups can pay in person by cheque, cash or card at SPAL or by card over the phone on 01306 887453. When payments are made by phone, you will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your receipt. A hard copy of the receipt and the credit/debit slip(s) will be sent with the items requested.

Can groups pay in any other Surrey library?

No. All charges must be paid directly to SPAL, as your detailed account information is held there.

What about Inter Library Loans (ILLs)?

Although SPAL has a large stock of multiple copy music or play sets, it is not always possible to supply a particular title or enough copies of a title to satisfy your group's needs. In those cases SPAL uses the various countrywide ILL schemes to obtain that material from outside the county. The service is available to Surrey-based groups only and there are two elements to the charges.

1) A fixed reservation fee which pays for a search of databases in other library authorities to see if the material might be available. Supply is not guaranteed. A fixed charge is made for this.

2) An ILL fee which pays for us to obtain the material from other authorities and includes a handling fee and courier charges. This charge is variable depending on the supplier, material and number of copies required. Costs of obtaining material from outside Surrey in the quantities required (eg 150 copies) can vary. You will be told the minimum cost, but the final cost is dependent on supply charges. Once you have agreed to pay the charges we will proceed with your request. You will be told the final cost when the material arrives.

All inter library loan charges are non-refundable.

What happens about late returns?

Any material not returned or renewed before the due date is charged at the monthly rate.

What about missing or damaged items?

We ask groups to replace missing or damaged items like-for-like, rather than pay a replacement copy fee. Some sets can still be used by other borrowers even though parts are missing. Please note that where a set becomes unusable (eg orchestral set missing its fourth oboe part) then your group will be asked to pay the hire charges until you complete the set.