Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Library Regs and Detached Operators

Ya know how I push reading? Talking on and on about a good book. The classics or some genius new author's slant on an old idea?

How a few posts back I suggessted going to your local library?

Well, I am gonna give a warning. The books, from the library, are equipped with chips that make them lose themself. This isn't some conspiracy theory.

I can PROVE that I have taken a book to the drop off box, it has grown limbs, stopped itslef mid slide to the clerk, climbed back outside the drop off box and grabbed onto the bumper of my car.

With the brazen audacity and street cred of a mobster, it will put itself somewhere you won't notice until spring, or the next time you put up Christmas. Or move.
Some library books have a sick sense of humor. I have had one trip me right in the middle of a heavy traffic area of my home. yeh, "they" know what they are doing.

So I am coming back with some of my own strategies, based on the Madoff style of corupption going on behind our bookworm backs.

First, my suggestion that the government intercede like it did with the credit card companies and come down on the sneaky library fines.

Once Upon A Time, a fine used to be a few cents, or a it was a few bucks when you returned to the library. no big deal to hand over chump change.

Now, the serious similarities with credit cards and libraries, came to my attention with this simple phone call.

Like many of you, I called to find out how much my fine was one day. A seemingly nice person told me that my library card had a heinous amount of money due on it. "doh!' I hate the stab of a LIBRARY FINE!

Hello! Those are NO Brainers. But at the library, they have brains. With all those books, they have honed in on the most terrible tactics and I think we should steer our attention away from what is happening in Egypt, and start lookin' at the stuff goin' on in our own back yards.

Why? Cause I let a few weeks pass before I called the brown bricked building across the river again.

Another librarian answered. (they have caller I.D. I know it.) She told me a considerably increased amount on the amount due for the LOST BOOK from last year.

"I was told I had to pay $12. something, for that LOST book." I told her eying my calendar with the scribbled amount owed. (mind you they have put the chips in the books)

"You were? By who? Did you get a name?" she asked empathetically.

No, I didn't catch the name, a nice person, who works at the library. Those things don't change! I thought.

"No." I said ashamed. And vowing to also include journaling these phone calls as well as all the others.

I confidently gave her the date I called. Thank you cell phone people!

"mmmm. I see that you did call on that day." she said as I felt the feeling of relief wash over me.

Expecting redemption from the interest-like accruing mess she broke the silence:

"Oh, I see. The person you spoke with didn't include the processing fee."

"Processing Fee?"

"Mm-hmm. It is $5.00 to process it. I am sorry you weren't informed." she said adding the amount out loud that I'd been told and confirming that she had found the problem.

While she is doing this I am picturing an 'ol lady taking my money and that very moment accounting for the PROCESS in which I was being fined.

AFter a couple seconds of stone silence she broke it with more sugary good news.

"But since you did call in, it has been over 90 days and is dubbed a LOST BOOK, we will not add the daily late fee charge!"

I guffawed.


"Does your computer system also put who TALKED to me on the day I called." I asked dryly

"no I am sorry, it doesn't."

At this same time I am reeling about the fact that there is ANOTHER book, that I can't find, with a due date looming.

"Okay, okay. I will pay for the lost book and the processing fee. I CANNOT find the Pecos Bill book that you say I have not returned. So I need to re-check it out." I breathed out and thought about the blitz on the house and now library I was gonna have to do.

"Umm, let me check." click. type. click. silence.

Bomb: "Oh, I am sorry that book is on hold."

"On hold? You are saying that I am holding that book."

"Yeh, someone called and pre-checked it out."

I am thinking of this specific book, and the likelyhood that some kid called and requested THIS particular, old book. -Most randomly grab what is on the shelf. But, hey, maybe I am underestimating the kids these days.

"Can you LOOK and see if it has been returned?" I begged. After having turned my son's room upside down and rearranged it to find the book before the due date I am confident they might have it and this is some sort of way to earn money by the library.

"Sure! If you feel that you have returned it, then there is a freeze. You have nothing more to do." she assauged my worries. "It is in our court now. Up to us to find it." she answered with confidence and accountability.

"Well, when is the look gonna start? Because, say you can't find it and it starts adding up late fees for me?" I threw out the hypothetical situation.

"Oh, that could take up to a week."

"Can I come in and look for the book there?" I pleaded at her sudden statement of fact.

" Who is this person that wants to check out the Pecos Bill book?" I asked suspiciously.

"Oh, I'm sorry. We can't give that information out. But you are more than welcome to come look for the book."

"Thanks." I said standing hopelessly in my kitchen.


J ran his fire truck across the floor and as he laid there, examining all it's parts he said:

"Hey, mom, if you call 9-1-1,, you're gonna get Richard's mom. (name change of friend he mentioned.)

"She's a detacher."

"Oh, yeh?" I said.

If the Dispatcher's for our community are that indifferent to our emergencies, than I am calling the President to request a Bureau or some kind of Law to be put in place to get a handle on these libraries.

*For kicks I checked out how much the old book I lost is going for on ebay: less than a dollar.

I can picture a glasses wearing librarian standing atop the curling ramp of our local library laughing. A very, very, evil laugh.

Check out books at your own risk, that's all I can say.

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