What do you think?

It’s been a very long day today. I don’t know what it is but the average IQ of the patrons seems to have dropped at least 50 points. There hasn’t been a person yet who has come to the counter and not said or done something stupid.

It’s even affecting people calling in.

“Hi, I just got a letter about some overdue fines. But I brought the book back yesterday, so do I still have to pay the fine?”

I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here and assume she does. I do look it up though, just to be sure.

“Yes, there is a $16 fine showing on your account.”

“But I brought the book back!”

“You mean you brought the book back before it was due?”

“No, it was a reserve book that got mixed up with my other books. I took it home overnight. They called me and told me to bring it back. No one told me I couldn’t take it.”

That, folks, would be a lie. Everyone is told, every time, that the books are due back in two hours and they are all covered with bright yellow stickers that say “Library Use Only”.

“I brought it back the next day! Why would there be a fine?”

“It’s an overdue fine, it’s there because the item was overdue.”

“But I brought it back.”

Uh huh…

“Well I’m afraid that because the item was overdue there isn’t anything I can do about the fine. The best I can suggest is for you to contact the lady who handles all the fines. She’ll be back in on Monday.”

It takes a little more going around in circles, but she finally takes the information and hangs up.

I almost feel sorry for the girl who will have to deal with her on Tuesday.


-Late Fines.

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm  Comments (4)  

A shitty thing to do, unless I’m doing it

I’ve told you about the reserve books before. They’re kept behind the counter and most have a loan period of two hours (in library only) because, the idea is, the whole class needs them. The library doesn’t set the borrowing period for the books, the prof. does.

For the record, the reserve can have a borrowing period of two hours up to two weeks. Most are either two hour or overnight.

These books sit here for months at a time. Most show up within days of the beginning of the semester. Some are almost always here. There really isn’t any room to complain that you didn’t get your turn with the materials because it simply isn’t true. You had your turn, you just didn’t take it.

There’s an English midterm coming up. How do I know? Because the three books on reserve for that class have been going out steadily for the last three days tho they hadn’t been touched at all before that.

Two of the three books are two hour loans. The third is an overnight.

“I need these three books.” She shoved a piece of paper across the counter. At least she had the call numbers.

The other guy was helping her, but I figured I knew what she was talking about.

“The Evelyn Waugh books?”


“I’m afraid that the only one we have at the moment is this one.” Yeah, they’ve been going out enough that I know off the top of my head which are in and the only one is sitting next to me as I just checked it in. “One should be back shortly but the other is an overnight loan.”

“What?” She sputtered in a kind of indignation I normally reserve for situations a little more serious than an unavailable library book.

“I’m sorry. I just signed it out to someone.”

“Well do you know if they actually left the library with it?”

“Yes, they did.”

“Well that was a shitty thing to do!” She even slammed her fist on the counter. “We have a project due! And there are other people in the class who need that book!”

Somehow I doubt she’s going to be losing any sleep over these “other people”.

“I’m afraid that’s something you’ll need to take up with your prof.”

“So it won’t be back until noon tomorrow?”

“At the very latest.”

After a few more minutes of grumbling and kicking up a stink, she took the two hour loan.

Remember when I said that the books have been sitting here for weeks, untouched? I’m not feeling too sorry for someone coming in at the last minute who can’t get what they need. And getting mad at someone who showed up earlier in the day and took advantage of the overnight loan is ridiculous. I’m sure if she had been the one here earlier in the day, her first thought wouldn’t have been “Gee… other people in my class need this so I should cut short my time with it so they can all have a chance.”

A little while later she was back. “I want to return this and take out the other one.”

“I’m sorry, I’m afraid the other book is out at the moment.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No.” Why would I kid you about that? “Did you still want to return this one?”



“Wait. I just want to photocopy one thing.”

Now I’m wondering if she’s kidding me.

“I just need it for a second. Do you really need to sign it out again?”



-Late Fines

Published in: on March 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (4)