Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oops! I did it again.


I am pro-library. And you should be too. Libraries are like learning, imagination, quiet, dreaming fantasy land. Now days, they're all hooked up electronically where you can renew and request online. Our library even has self check out. And a cafe. And a petfinder.com kiosk.

So if I'm reading a magazine, newspaper or blog that recommends a book, movie or DVD - I'll request it from the library and often as early as the next day, the library sends me an email saying it is in. I rush to go pick it up and I leave feeling like I have an extra $20 in my pocket. It all works so well. Except when it doesn't.

Last week I got a notice that some books were overdue. Reading the email it appeared as if they were due THAT very day. Oh, how my heart expanded. The library was treating my like an overprotective parent. Here's a little warning. You're not in trouble yet...but tomorrow. Tomorrow, we start levying 20 cents a day on your ass. So I signed into my library account online and tried to renew. Once I could see my whole account, I notice that the books were NOT due that day. Instead they were over three weeks late. Three weeks late!?!? How could this happen.

Later I went in to deliver the books and pay my fine. I had a twenty dollar bill in hand. I eyed the screen paying special attention to the box labeled fine. And the numbers! At first I thought surely this is like the The Biggest Loser scale. That is, the number arbitrarily bounces back and forth from the ridiculous spectrum to the stomach-able. But I quickly realized it was more like the pay-out at a slot machine in Vegas and I was the house.

So now I'm talking with the bank about a personal loan or considering some black market quick cash making scheme, because 20 cents a day adds up when you have a ton of books out. And I've soured on my steadfast love of the library. I hate it when this happens.

2 comments:

Reinvent Dad said...

Don't let this episode sour you on the public library system. The library is still an affordable, cost saving & environmentally friendly alternative to purchasing books, videos and newspapers from a store.

movin down the road said...

I love the library too. I even go on my own to the children's library when the girls are in school and pick out their books for them since they never have time to go with me. They love coming home and seeing what I checked out for them.

Our library allows you to pay late fees in food donations instead of money, for the local food pantry.