Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Library Tyranny

first, let me just say that i love the library. i have always loved to read, and going to the library allows me to browse and sample at will from thousands of different books. when i was a child, we would go to the library once a week in the summer, and i would leave with stacks of books, only to come back for more a week later. when you go to a library, there's no worry about buyer's remorse...if you don't like something, you can always return it. plus, it's all free -- all the fun of a shopping spree, minus the guilt.

free, that is, until you face this sneaky little nuisance called the Library Fine. now, i'm all for the idea of not letting people just check out books, willy nilly, without regard for who may be waiting to read next, and library fines address that problem. they keep people accountable, and keep the supply of information available and flowing from one person to the next.

however, the Library Fine is also my nemesis. you see, i am not the most organized mama on the block, and our library trips are not of the weekly variety. there are some days when i am still feeling lucky if all the children are fed and clothed, let alone trying to round up all the books and coats and shoes, then venturing into a (supposedly) quiet environment where people whisper to each other, and most certainly Do Not Yell, Run, or Jump. with 3 boys, that can sometimes be a recipe for a meltdown. also, my scatterbrained nature (i prefer "creative") often leads me to be a few days late on the renewal uptake.

which leads me to the reason for this post. you see, i have been slowly working my way through a book (i know! a book!) and over the course of the last month am almost done with it. however, the library only lets you check things out for 3 weeks, and i keep forgetting to renew. so, today i went online to renew it. (yay me!) feeling resourceful, if a bit sheepish knowing that i would owe about a dollar in fines, i logged in to my account.....only to find that i owe the library OVER 20 DOLLARS!!! apparently, there is this book that we checked out for the kids right before we moved which has been MIA for a while. but, we had gone into the library to confess, and they gave us a grace period to find it amongst all the boxes. apparently the library's version of grace does not include monetary mercy.

so much for my frugal pastime....

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