Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Crazy Mad Librarians

(With apologies to The Mommy Librarian)

What is up at my local library? They are hopping mad over there. And by mad I mean angry AND crazy.
I borrowed a book last month. It was due on May 2. I returned said book on May 2. I dropped it into the giant book return bin in the parking lot.
I figured all was well and good. But all was not well and good.
I started getting notices last week that I had better return that book and my fines were accruing.
I emailed the library and told them that I HAD returned the book and it was in that big bin outside. I figured, they'd go out there, find the book, and all would be well and good. But all was not well and good.
Today I get this email from the library.

Mind you, even if I DID still have the book, it would only be THREE WEEKS overdue.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This is the final overdue notice. We have sent you several notices already.
If you don't return the following items we shall take your outstanding account to a collection agency for action.

1 call number:618.92 WEISSBLUTH ID:55901010037953
Healthy sleep habits, happy child / Marc Weissbluth.
Weissbluth, Marc.
due:5/2/2006,23:59 price:$12.95 accrued fine to date:$1.80

I was like, YIKES!
You're getting all strong-arm tacticlike on a book that A) I already returned and B) isn't even a month past the due date, even though (see A) I already returned it!!
So I called up the library and told the gal that the book was in the giant bin.
She goes to search for it, and sho'nuff! The book is there, just like I said.

She erased my fines, obviously. I would say so! I was getting ready for a visit from Lt. Bookman.

All that harassment...I should sue!

Here's the funny part - I didn't even get around to reading the book, because my kids won't nap during the day and give me any free time to myself. Isn't it ironic. Dontcha think?


Amy said...

Ha! When I was reading the post (especially when I saw the title of the book) I thought, "I wonder if she even got around to reading it."

That is the problem with those book bins, they don't check them all the time. sometimes I toss a book in and the bin is full, and I'm sorry Juneau's not large enough to fill up a bin in one day.

Jessey said...

I leafed through the book here and there.
The guy advocates letting your kid cry and cry for hours though. I can't do that. 15 minutes tops and then I have to go do something. I can't listen to my child cry for hours.
So, I partially did not read the book because I do not have the time to sit and read a book, and partially because the parts I did read I thought, this guy is CRAZY!

Chris said...

Elizabeth is going to comment when she gets a chance. Her first comment was pretty funny, but I'll let her get to it when she's free.

cube said...

Go ahead and laugh, Joy Girl. You
think overdue books are funny... but they're not!

Jessey said...

I know, I know...but I returned that book. It's burned in my memory!

eaf said...

Gah! Giving librarians a bad name everywhere. Fortunately, I live/work in a county with a strong tax base and a community that believes libraries are very important. The average taxpayer in my county (property taxes) gives about $42 to the library, whether they want to or not. It gives us a fat, phat budget. Therefore, we don't bother with horrid notices like this. Yes, we send a notice... yes, we charge fines and we make you pay for the book if you lose it... but COLLECTION AGENCY?! For less than $2??? What self-respecting agency would even take that on?! They get a whole dollar if they collect the money? Ludicrous.

And as for the bins... we check our bins at least three times a day... and we have two bins. And they are always full when we get them. I can't imagine not checking them. Especially for what... a week?!

Perhaps your book was dropped down into the bin, but missed the interior container, and the page or other library person who collected the books didn't notice it lying there. That happens to us A LOT.

Usually, when someone claims a book has been returned, we check the shelves. Invariably, someone put it back on the shelf without checking it in properly. It happens.

Sorry you had a bad experience. Incidentally, one of the books that comes back to us late the most often is on procrastination. Talk about irony!

Amy said...

Ah, I did that once! The library told me my book was late and I found it on the shelf.

I will admit though I once cheated with the bin in high school and lied to the lady - with my mom standing right there (my mom didn't yell because the librarian was a mean little witch who'd been there since I was a child).

The library closed at 5. We got there at about 5:15, and I dropped it into the bin. The next time I went she said you owe us 10 cents. I'm sure I had not even 1 cent since I never have money. I said no, I returned it. She said "This isn't blockbuster, the book is due at closing time, after that it's late." I said I put it in the bin.

I suppose the fact that my mom was standing there made her think I was telling the truth, or maybe she thought she'd already wasted enough of her time for a dime.

Jessey said...

I also could not believe they were willing to throw me to the wolves (AKA a collection agency) for a measly $1.80.

My little niece has had a book out so long that they are now sending her "You just have to buy that book now" notices.

I'd rather deal with the library over Blockbuster any day. Those geeks are crazy about their fines. Late fines, not rewinding fine, not hopping on one foot while returning your video fine, blah blah blah.

Amy said...

Oooh, there's a punk ass boy at our Blockbuster. He's a snot. Once we checked out a video, and he said, "It's due tomorrow at 3."

WTF! You close at 10, dude, there is no 24 hour rule at Blockbuster. I hate that kid.

Jessey said...

I hate punkasses.
You should toss him an uppercut next time you hit Blockbuster. JK jk, that would be battery, and that's not cool.