So this showed up at a library here in my school district and that librarian thought it was too funny not to share. Extortion money? Really? Man, people can be nutty about library fees. It really puts a sour taste on the end of the year.
I’ve decided for next year to be much more black and white about it. You lost a book? $15. You don’t want to or can’t pay $15? Sorry, you can look at magazines or something but you can’t check out until I get the book (in decent condition) or $15. No more negotiating, amnesty, being nice and I’m not going to be mean either. I’ll just say that’s the way it is.
One problem is the fine. It’s a fine set by the county for losing the book. It’s not the exact replacement cost of that particular book. It could have cost more or it could have cost less than $15. But that’s the fine. No, I do not want a book you bought at Amazon as a replacement. I buy specially bound and processed books for my library. That bookstore stuff doesn’t last five minutes with these guys.
So next year I’m placing a statement to that effect on every overdue notice so I don’t get folks trying to give me an old Fly Guy book from their own collection (with torn and taped together pages!) as a replacement for one their kid lost. Yes, that happened yesterday.
The policy is that if they don’t turn their book in or pay the fine by the end of the year, they don’t get their report card. Not much of a threat nowadays since the grades are all online. Hence my no amnesty clause. You may get your report card anyway but you sure ain’t going to check out any more books in this district until you take care of your responsibilities.
Sorry if I sound chapped. Most books come back and of those that don’t, most people pay. I even had one mom pay for a book, find it and surprisingly not ask for a refund. “Consider it a donation for your lovely library program,” she said. Wow! Now that’s classy.
But, yeah, I’d rather get books back than money and I’d rather at least get money than grief, that’s for sure. But I guess it’s the price of doing business in a public setting.