Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Library is just waaaay too expensive for me!

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!


Sara said...

I have the Simple Living Guide and I love it. It has so much depth and so many ideas!

Dr.Worm said...

LOL! I am so glad I am reading this! I also am interested in simple living and owe the library about 200 bucks...gotta see how much. I was so embarassed cause we were making payments but we have been too broke lately to pay more and I had to take my dd in the bathroom there yesterday on the way home from school..I was avoiding eye contact. You're not the only one with this dilemma! I miss the library!! Maybe the librarian will be happy that you are taking out decluttering books..I should try that lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I'm also the mom of three children and working everday on keeping things simple. I love the book The Idiot's Guide to Simple Living by Georgene Lockwood. It's a great way to start. It has info about the philosophy of living simply and also great practical tips on steps you can take. Don't be discouraged! Just take it one step at a time and gradually you'll pare down to the point the you can reclaim your life and your joy!

Gavrielah said...

Dr. worm, you poor thing! It is really embarassing to owe so much money to the library of all places. And right at a time when you want to get into saving money, living simply, and avoid buying new stuff! I'm trying to work out something that will ensure we don't lose any books and will get them back on time.

I hope you get your fine paid off as well. At least then you'll be able to read lots of books without spending MORE money and without cluttering up your place.

Gavrielah said...

sara, how are your kids handling the new simple living? Are they still little? Mine are already 13, 11, and 8, so this is a big adjustment to them. Although, one thing that is in our favor (and never thought I'd feel this way) is that we've never really had enough money to get them a lot of toys or fancy things. So, that's been kind of a blessing, I suppose, even though for the past few years I resented the fact that we had no money.

I will definitely check into the Idiot's Guide that you recommend....sounds like it would be right up my alley! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow is your library ripping you off! Our libraries around here have a limit on late fees. You can't be charged more than $4-5 dollars per book in late fees. There is no processing fee for having to replace a book. And if you have to replace something you don't have to pay the late fees on top of that. But if you keep like 30 books out for months and then lose a few you can still rack up a couple hundred dollars. Don't ask me how I know :(

I lost a book recently and went to the local used bookstore and bought a good as new used copy and gave it to the library to replace the one I lost. They were fine with that. It looked brand new.