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Librarians Hate Me…

Sunday, June 3, 2007
Posted in: good friends, libraries

I’m a librarian’s worst nightmare. Seriously.

I never take books back on time. Evah.

The last time I visited the library, all ten of the books that I had taken out were waaay overdue. So overdue in fact, that my friend who happens to be one of the librarians there, was appalled that I’d racked up £25 ($47) worth of charges. What can I say, I’m a busy gal.

Anyway, she made the obligatory, guilt-inducing, tut-tut noises, and reminded me that I could have renewed them by phone. I duly apologised, and told her it wouldn’t happen again. Until the next time.

Anyway, I didn’t pay the fine that time, because my car was about to run out of parking time, so I ran out telling her I’d pay the fine, the next time I came into the library. I think I actually heard her snort in disbelief as I sprinted out of the library.

Well that was three weeks ago (What? I’m a busy person!) anyway, I went to pay the fine yesterday, and found that I didn’t owe the library a penny.

My friend had cleared the charges for me.

Bless her cotton socks.

Anyway, I was then able to go crazy and take out ten more books. Books that I wouldn’t be caught dead actually paying for. A couple of Catherine Coulter’s verrry old hystericals, a couple of ancient Jenny Crusie romances, some Audrey Howard womany fiction, a couple of James Patterson slashy fiction, (which I probably wont get round to reading because his books are always so damn long!) and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

I’ll have to remember to renew the buggers in three weeks, or else I’ll have another hefty fine, which I might just have to pay next time.

What about you guys? Are you like me, or are you one of those anally retentive people who actually take their books back on time? *g*

23 Comments »


  • katieM
    June 3
    6:15 pm

    I rarely go to the library for reading material. I do turn them in on time or I renew online, but I’d rather buy my books. There are reasons for that, though. The most important is that the branch nearest my house doesn’t carry the type of books that I enjoy reading. Second, If I like a book, I will reread it several times right away and then wait a year or so until I’m in a slump. Another reason is that I opened a book once and found a live six legged creature…with an egg case. The library is clean, but not everybody who checks out books is clean. Finally (no, not really but this is where I’ll stop), people seem to think the term library is synonymous with free baby sitting; there are too many unsupervised children running wild and tearing things up. While I wish the library could have some of those “No children without an adult” policies, but since it is right next door to an elementary school, that won’t happen.

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  • Barbara B.
    June 3
    6:15 pm

    Largest and last library fine: 665.00. I NEVER borrow books or rent movies anymore. I can’t be trusted to return them in a timely manner, even though I lived within shouting distance of the library and within 2 blocks of the movie rental place. I’m monumentally forgetful and lazy. That library fine cured me, though.

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  • MERLIN
    June 3
    6:20 pm

    Libraries ….. do we still have any ?

    M.

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  • Jaye
    June 3
    6:57 pm

    I stopped using the library for this reason alone, and it’s the main reason my tbr pile is so out of control. I was tired of paying late fees and decided I might as well buy the books, then I’d be able to read them at my leisure. I still do use the library *occasionally* maybe taking out one or two books twice a year but my use is no where near what it used to be. Things have gotten so bad with late charges and missing books in general in my city, that the library can now report liens to the credit bureau.

    Like Katie, I stopped renting videos/dvds also, for the same reason.
    Barb– $665!?!?! woah.

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  • byrdloves2read
    June 3
    8:38 pm

    When I was working I never went to the library. Now that I’m retired, I check out bags of books at a time and they’re always back in plenty of time. But, hey, I don’t work so I can read a book a day and we get four weeks in which to read them. Plus, I can choose books online and reserve them. So all I have to do is present my card, pick up the books and go. Soooo easy. And since I’m fairly new to romance, there’s a lot of older books I’ve never read so I’m sorta playing catch up.

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  • Marg
    June 3
    8:48 pm

    I use my library all the time…I can’t afford to buy the number of books I read in a year! But I am pretty anal about making sure that books are returned on time – even keeping a spreadsheet to aid me! What…..I’m anal about it!

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  • Wendy
    June 3
    9:14 pm

    Well I’m a librarian, so not sure if my response counts 🙂

    I buy most of my books, but do check out some items from the library. Mostly hard covers I don’t want to wait for in pb, but don’t want to buy. Non-fiction and audio books.

    As a staff member I don’t generate fines, but I’m still very conscious that *I’m* there (and the library is there) to serve the public first. So I always renew items (unless there are holds – in which case I return it!) and turn them in on time.

    Most libraries do go above and beyond the call of duty to remind people about what they have checked out. You get a receipt when you check them out, you get notices by e-mail, phone and/or mail. You can even renew items online or over the phone. My employer does all of the above and you’d be amazed how often people come in and tell bold-faced lies to the staff. That’s why we have to be hard-asses. Like cops, we’re literally lied to all day, every day. You get jaded after a while.

    But kudos to you Karen for admitting you were in the wrong. You’d be amazed how many people in your position would walk into the library and say, “But I returned those items 3 weeks ago?!?!” or “I never checked those out?!?!”

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  • Karen Scott
    June 3
    9:39 pm

    The most important is that the branch nearest my house doesn’t carry the type of books that I enjoy reading.

    Katie, I’d love for my library to carry erotic romance, but alas, the library is run by the local council, so there’s no way, any of the ultra-conservative councillors are going to permit such books.

    But I am pretty anal about making sure that books are returned on time – even keeping a spreadsheet to aid me! What…..I’m anal about it!

    Marg… a spreadsheet? That’s beyond anal.. (g)

    Most libraries do go above and beyond the call of duty to remind people about what they have checked out.

    Not my library Wendy, they usually send a reminder card two weeks after the due date. To be fair, it wouldn’t make a difference anyway because I’d probably still be late taking them back.

    As for owning up to the books, what choice do I have, the damn books are out in my name, lol

    Largest and last library fine: 665.00.

    Oh. My. God. Barbara, that is crazy, even I’m not that bad.

    I was tired of paying late fees and decided I might as well buy the books, then I’d be able to read them at my leisure.

    Jaye, if I thought about the amount of money I’ve wasted over the years, from paying fines, I’d probably be sick as a pig.

    I don’t do DVD’s from Blockbusters either cuz they’d never go back!

    Libraries ….. do we still have any ?

    Barely Merlin. Actually, there are plans in the future to revamp ours, about time too, seeing as it hasn’t had a facelift since the century before last!

    Plus, I can choose books online and reserve them.

    Linda, I wish we had that option, it would make life sooo much easier.

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  • bettie
    June 3
    10:24 pm

    I am terrible about fines. My libraries send me email notices for overdue books and I can order or renew online – and I still rack up about $10 in fines a month.

    I figure, as long as my library fines are less than my Netflix fee, it’s not so bad. And besides, the libraries need the money.

    Of course, if I’d turn my books in on time and just donate the money I could write off the donations…

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  • Lori
    June 4
    12:38 am

    I’m so much better about it now that I can renew online. I put a task reminder in my email, the day I check out the books, and then renew online. It’s getting them back that second time after I’ve renewed that I’m crappy at. Thankfully, the library is on my way to the freeay on my way to work, so I usually remember only a day or two late and drop them off on my way to work.

    But since my library is so bad, and really only has a few books that I want to read anyway (and I think I’ve read them all by now), it’s a moot point for me now. I have to buy to read. And rely on the kindness of my wonderful friends – Jen, Anne and Linda – you guys ROCK!

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  • raspberry swyrl
    June 4
    12:41 am

    Other people get massive tbr piles out of the books they buy, I get massive tbr piles out of books I get from the library. I am glad to not be the only one to rack up massive fines. Had to pay thirty bucks last month, but I never learn and I currently have fourty-six books out. The library sends an email about two days before the book is due and I can renew online…yet somehow my fines still happen.

    But I love the library. I check out authors I’m not sure about, authors who I would never actually buy and am sometimes pleasantly surprised with their author picks. I mean they actually had a Jaid Black book. Also it appeals to the cheapass in me. Until the fines that is.

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  • Kristie (J)
    June 4
    2:15 am

    LOL – that’s one of the main reasons I don’t use the library!!! I never return them on time and by the time I do return them – I could have bought the book myself what with the fines – so I do!
    Plus it just hurts too much to have to take them back if they are good ones. Cause many times I can’t find them in the stores so nope – no library for this reader.

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  • shiloh walker
    June 4
    2:42 am

    I need a friend at the library.

    I’m one of those who have good intentions of returning, but then I forget. i have a research book here that I need to get back to the library…will i remember in the AM? Who knows…

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  • Jaynie R
    June 4
    2:48 am

    Back home, before we left, they cut up my library card. The last 4 times I went I racked up over $100 in fines. I just never found time to take the books back.

    And libraries annoy me because I always want to keep the books, and for some reason they always seem to want them back.

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  • Kat O+
    June 4
    5:24 am

    What a timely post. I arrived home to find an overdue notice on my desk. I racked up $25 in fines for books I read after a week of checking them out. My official excuse is that the toddler loves Postman Pat and the Goat’s Supper so much, I haven’t had the heart to return it. *g*

    When I was at uni, I would easily rack up fines of $20-$100 at a time, because the late fees were so hefty.

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  • Arin Rhys
    June 4
    6:01 am

    At the library near me, they really ought to name a shelf after me because I always have late fees. Or I get angry notes saying that I can’t renew anymore because I can keep renewing them months.

    I just covet the library’s collection so much.

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  • Jaynie R
    June 4
    7:44 am

    Karen – I never got your emails. Have you got an old addy maybe?

    try jaynier.groups @ gmail.com – I can’t find one from you and blogger doesn’t show your profile

    smoochies,
    J

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  • avidbookreader
    June 4
    12:05 pm

    Hell, no, never return them on time. What’s even worse, I checked out five of them and only had read one. I used to be late so often that now I get emails reminding me that they are due. Hee. Ah, to answer your question, no that doesn’t always work for me either. I’m just lazy like that.

    Keishon

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  • jmc
    June 5
    1:56 am

    I tend to use the library for books that are out of print or that I’m not sure I want to buy.

    I paid $3 in fines today. All for non-fiction hardbacks. Then I checked out more. Felt vaguely guilty about the overdue books until I heard the woman behind me — she owed $126, which was a surprise to her!

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  • Phyl
    June 5
    4:19 am

    I’m a librarian for a small university in a large city. Since being a librarian is not the most lucrative profession in the world, I only buy a quarter of what I read (with much of that being e-books). I work a block away from a wonderful public library that carries a large selection of romance, including erotic romance. I manage my account online with more care than my bank account. I haven’t paid a fine in years. Meanwhile I usually have at least 30 books checked out at one time. I often decide what to read based on due dates. The system will let me renew up to 4 times (which means I can–and sometimes do–keep a book 5 months) if no one else has placed a reserve on it. I can also reserve books that are “on order”. If I’m quick enough I get most books on their release dates. I love my library!

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  • LaShaunda
    June 5
    2:13 pm

    I’m a late person too. My last fine was 29.00, but I have a good excuse. I had a baby and forgot all about the books.

    I’m a great fan of the library. I try to go once a week with the kids. It saves me on buying books, which makes my hubby happy. He thinks I have too many books.

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  • Anonymous
    June 5
    6:22 pm

    Use library often, mostly newer stuff on wait lists (refuse to buy new authors & hardbacks). I reserve & renew online. 4 weeks to read and .10 per day until you reach the price of the book (maximum fine). Check online often to see if any waitlist items are in form me, so I also check what’s due…it’s not rocket science. On the other hand, I don’t keep a spreadsheet either! -dl

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  • Karen Scott
    June 5
    7:42 pm

    I’m pleased to see that I’m not alone when it comes to fines, we all seem to be as bad as each other, lol.

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