, pub-8087192757053655, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Director Jewels: The Hidden Cost of a Library Card

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Hidden Cost of a Library Card

Apparently because we had great reading success last month and completed the local summer reading program with plenty of time to spare, this was a sign to my dear two-year-old that he should destroy not one. Not two. Not three. But FOUR library books.

Yes. Read that again.



Understand me here. I worked in a library (the very same library from which these books were checked out, in fact) for almost seven years. I saw countless numbers of books be returned in tattered shreds. And I declared - swore - that my children would not destroy their library books.

We would have more respect for the privilege of borrowing books. We would lovingly read our books and return them in ideal condition. There would never be any question as to the love of reading in our family.

So it was with a heavy heart that I took my pathetic stack of broken books to the library and confessed what Lincoln had done. The librarians were very sympathetic, but ultimately (as I knew would be the case), yeah, I am responsible to pay for them. That's a whopping $35.93 that I was certainly not planning to spend on broken library books.

I'll tell you a little something about librarians. They're not dumb. It didn't even cross my mind to toss the books in the return bin and hope "well, maybe they won't notice." I can tell stories of people who swore the book never left their library bag - yet it was returned dripping with fruit juice. Yeah, no one is going to believe that story. In our case, three of these four books were practically brand new. One of them, we were the very first people to check it out! It was inevitable that if we destroyed it - we would be buying it.

Unfortunately, it just means that we won't be able to have library books in our house for the time being.

Lincoln knows that I was not happy about the book situation. He seemed moderately upset when I packed up every library book I could find and took them out of the house. A couple times since then, he has sadly asked "books?" I don't know if he understands that they left our house because of his actions.

After I pay for the books, I'll get to keep them. I think we'll be showing them to Lincoln every day - but maybe not actually letting him play with them. I don't know if the lesson will be learned or not , but I suppose it's worth a try. I'm thinking our July reading corner may not be worth sharing, though. Sigh.


  1. My mom is the head librarian at our local library and I'm a sub there. She swears that neither I nor any of my 4 siblings EVER tore or wrecked a book in any way. Guess what my oldest child has done SEVERAL times? Yup, nothing more humbling than bringing the head librarian aka YOUR MOM a library book that her grandchild destroyed and hearing all about how none of us kids would ever have done that.

    1. Oh goodness, having the head librarian be your mom is definitely worse than my story. It's humiliating to take ruined books to the library in the first place!


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