Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trip to the Library

I haven't been to the library in over a year... not since they sent me to collections over a bill of $3.41.
I couldn't believe it!
The deal was: I returned the book and tried to pay the day I returned it.. but in the computer system it hadn't shown up that I was late. ( I think I gave them my card- but the book was actually checked out on my sons card.)

THEY said not to worry about it- pay if it showed up later...
A few days go by and I get a note in the mail... I owe. No big deal- or so I thought. I 'll just pay the next time I go in.. ( I mean- I returned the book- no late charges piling up...)
THEN I get a second notice that I've been sent to collections!

nice

I was mortified. I marched in and paid that day and got very little sympathy. ( I am sure they get a lot of flaky people who skip out on library bills... but I could hardly be on their top 10 list of most flagrant offenders! Even top 100 list.)

THEN I was so steamed about it... I called my sister... I mean "friend" not my sister in anyway and she said THEIR LIBRARY lets you run up your bill almost $100 and even after THAT they don't send you to collections! They offer if your child reads in the library for an hour they will forgive some of the debt. Something like.. $1/ hour.

After hearing THAT I really felt unjustly dealt with...

So I banned the library for a year.

Yeah!

I showed them!

Instead of paying an occasional late due.. I insisted on buying my books and probably spending $100's of dollars last year. ( My husband tried to gently encourage me to use the free service provided in our community. Insisting that I didn't really have to buy books.. I could just borrow them.) But I had felt like I had been treated with such disdain.. they obviously didn't want my kind hanging around. ( The kind of person who would borrow a book.. return it.. late and then let such a gastly charge just sit in an account. I mean - what type of person does that! Horrible!)

Today I swallowed my pride. I strode in.. not making eye-contact.. for fear they would recognize me..
quietly browsed the shelves

found some really great books! (Titles I hadn't seen at Borders on Monday.)

Oh- yeah- I failed to mention.. that is what spurred my trip to the library.. I was pulling books of the shelf at the store and quickly tallied up the bill... realized we could read or eat for the month... put back EVERYTHING except the 3 copies of The Chocolate Touch that I need for book club.

The librarian took my card... scanned it.. gave me a strange look...

Oh dear... I braced myself for the worst.

and then she asked if I was an author!

I thought she was going to slam me with a fine- so I was relieved she had me mixed up with someone else.

{WHEW} The first step is always the hardest... on the road to recovery.

11 comments:

Sarah said...

Hmm ...
It seems that librarians come only in one of the two extremes: The sweet, gentle ones who read stories to small children... and the sadistic dictator ones who glare at you in a way that puts Medusa to shame...

Glad you finally conquered your fear of libraries, though!

Amanda said...

I love the library, couldn't home school without it. I order my books online and have them sent to my local branch for pick up. They send me an email saying they've arrived and we make our weekly trip to the library...it's awesome.

Although, I have had some run-ins with both types of librarians....the sadistic dictators do put you off and make you feel like you've personally offended them. The latest one was named "Erma." How can someone share a name with Erma Bombeck and be so mean and cruel?

Emily said...

How funny!
Nick just had a run in with a librarian last night, too.

T said...

collections? ummm, that's a bit on the loony side... I have just been avoiding the library because my kids drive me crazy in there... but hey, if you can do it so can I... right?

I'd better, because ManOfTheHouse is going to lock me in a closet if I keep buying all of the books I read...

Kristina P. said...

Too funny! And like you, I haven't checked out a book in years! I actually don't read a ton, but I just buy our monthly book club books on Amazon.

Ter said...

as a former librarian (bun and glasses complete) I usually promote library use. However!!! as a patron, I'm getting tired of waiting to get good books! Even putting them on hold means i could wait up to a year before I got a book. (after a year if you don't get it, too bad! Your hold expired and you have to start all over again!) So now I'm starting to buy books, though I cringe at the prices! Most books i will not read more than once! I do usually get them used when I do buy them. I remember when I was little, I got a $5 dollar allowance and that bought me a single book. Maybe even 2 books!

Emily said...

By the way, it is $1 for half an hour of reading in the library. ;0)

UK lass in US said...

Collections? Good grief. I had better pop in our local branch and make sure that we don't have any outstanding fines.

Lately I've been visiting the $1 bookstore that opened nearby - it's working out cheaper than paying late fees...

Becky said...

I am not a fan of the library either. True, it saves money. But the whole get the book back on time or else drives me crazy. Too much pressure!

Martha said...

Just wanted to tell you a little book club success story. Jim is like reading like crazy now. He's actually finished a couple of books and he tested 5th grade level without a pill. Amazing.

Michelle said...

Ouch. This one hits a little too close to home! :)
I, too, have boycotted a library. I guess I showed them. My offense was reporting a tear on one of the pages of a Thomas book. I was promptly charged $16.99 to replace the book which was no longer "fit to be circulated." I mean, come on! How many Thomas book readers are going to never, ever rip a book?! AND, I used to work at the BYU library in Provo in the BOOK REPAIR. I so could have fixed that tear and never said a word, but I knew that many libraries have specific preferences for mending things like that. Sheesh.
Good luck with your recovery. I'm waiting for the Gestapo librarian who hit me with the charge to move to another library. :)

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