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)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. One thing that gets my mouth foaming every time, without fail, is this sense of entitlement, undeserved, exhibited by our youth. Sorry you have to witness it so often. Are you allowed to drink on the job?!

    • Sometimes I really wish I were but I think we both know that would be a really bad idea. I have enough trouble biting my tongue when I’m sober.

  2. This is an awesome library tale.

    I shall now share it with my library peeps.

    • These people seem to be a library universal constant. That makes me sad.

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