Over the summer, I let the kids take out a bunch of books, and I took out quite a few as well. I guess we got lazy about returning them (and keeping them in one spot). So, back in July or August, we gathered up all the books (or so we thought) and returned them. There was one DVD (Great National Parks of America) that we couldn't find. Since I'm a wuss when it comes to talking to people I wrote a letter stating that we had lost it and that I would be more than happy to buy a new one. We dropped the books off and I figured I'd pay the late fee another time. So now that I'm getting into simplicity and more natural living, I decided to pay the fee and check some books out (since I'm trying not to purchase anything that I don't absolutely need).
Boy, was I surprised to see that my fine right now is $264.35!!! I am being charged $70.00 for one DVD that was returned and only costs maybe $20.00 new. And I am being charged $100.00 for the National Parks DVD!!!! Then, there are 3 books which they claim were not returned, but I'm pretty sure were returned with everything else. I wrote to the library to say that I admit its my fault and need to pay the late fees and replacement fee, but that this was excessive and there is no way I can pay it. I was told to contact the Circulation Supervisor, and I felt so embarassed talking to her. Anyway, she said that they will search for the books they still show out. I was transferred to AudioVisual, who told me that I must pay $57.00 for the DVD that I lost ($25.00 to replace it, $10 processing fee, and $22.00 late fee). I am so in tears right now.
Well, they found one book in the shelves that they had claimed was not returned, but did not find the other two. She put something in the system that stops fines from continuing to accrue and gives me 90 days to find the books. If they are not found, I will have to pay to replace the book, the processing fee, and the late fee. I will scour this place again, but I am so sure they were returned. Anyway, I ended up paying $124.64 for the other late fees and replacement cost of the DVD. I thought about just leaving it and not going back to the library. But, again, since I want to stop buying books, I really want to use the library more frequently (and carefully).
This is what I checked out today, after paying the fine:
Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan
For Packrats Only: How to clean up, clear out and dejunk your life forever by Don Aslett
The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life by Cecile Andrews
The Simple Living Guide: A Sourcebook for Less Stressful, More Joyful Living by Janet Luhrs
So far, I've only read a little of the Simple Living Guide, and it totally speaks to my spirit, to what I've been struggling with and needed to connect to. This book may, at some point, become one that I will end up purchasing for myself. But for now, I will be content with just checking it out from the library (and if I do buy it, it will be purchased used). Now, I need to come up with a system to make sure that library books are never lost and are always returned on time!