I have a confession to make: I suck at libraries. Now, before you start singing nursery rhymes to me, I do know my ABC’s. I understand the concept of alphabetizing. I know what genres are. I’m even adept at the dewy decimal system, although that seems to go the way of the Dodo bird. But the borrowing/returning concept? That’s where I seem to fall short. Oh, the borrowing part I’ve got down cold. You walk in, pick your book/dvd/music cd, and borrow it with the understanding that it will be returned to the library within a certain period of time under penalty of possible fines. That’s where I’ve always seemed to have an issue. This isn’t because I’m trying to get free books or cheat the system or anything. Most of the time I honestly just forgot to return to them and ended up with hefty fines. Eventually I just stopped using libraries completely in hopes of avoiding the problem. No such luck.
I recently moved out of the DC-Metro region, and when packing I found a handful of books (4 or 5) that belonged to various local libraries. One of them had a check-out date of summer 2005. Wow. I promptly called the various libraries and arranged to pay for the book. I did this partially because I felt bad about accidentally keeping the books I borrowed, but mostly because I was deathly afraid of running into someone like this.
Now, with having read every book in my personal library and most of the books on my nook, I’ve to make peace with my history of failing at libraries. So I went to my local library and got myself a library card and checked out my first two books in over 5 years. “The Great Gatsby” and “Austenland” came home with me. (One is a book I’ve always wanted to read, the other was a book recommended by Goodreads.)
Today not only did I successfully renew Gatsby, but I managed to return “Austenland” on time! Yay success!