Guys. I have a confession to make. For all I love about the library. For all I promote it, for all the great things I say about it. I’m a terrible library patron. We’ve improved a bunch over the years – especially since starting the Toronto by Library project – I can’t avoid going to a library regularly.
Our peak of bad behaviour, was in the mid 1990’s when we lived in Bethlehem, PA. At one point we were going to accept a job and relocate back to the Boston area. In the whirlwind of planning and getting ready to move we figured “Oh hell, we don’t need to take the library books back until before we go.” But then after a few weeks, we changed our minds and didn’t move. We went back to the library on the next trip and brought our books in to return and went to browse.
Five minutes later we heard our names over the PA system. Who knew the library had a PA system? And how bad did we have to be to be important enough that the library felt they had to disturb the sacred silence of the library to tell us to go up to the front desk. Well, I can tell you how bad we were. They asked us for over $300 in fines. We paid and got back in their good graces. Or at least always paid our fines.
After reading Why Returning Your Library Book is Important, I got curious as to how we were doing. Have we improved since then? Well I can say we have not been called out over the public address system at the library ever since, but we have received our share of fines. How much, though? Well, leave it to Mint to have all of our spending data since 2011. I searched on the category “Library Fines” and found the answer – and bear in mind, this is only for fines we’ve paid via credit or debit card.
Yeah – we still need to improve. My apologies to my readers who are librarians…