Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh, Library. Let's Kiss And Make Up.


I've been in Dutch with my library for several months now.  They say that I didn't return an activities workbook for Little House on the Prairie.  I've repeatedly searched my office and my former apartment, and I say that I did. The checkout machine flashed an ominous red when I tried to pretend like this wasn't happening, and the library staff yelled at me in Korean and crossed their forearms in the "no" sign.  After a while, I grew weary.  No way I was gonna win this one.  Last fall, in an effort to get my checkout privileges back, I offered to pay for the book:  "Ego ulmaeyo?" I asked, taking out my wallet.  More yelling and crossed arms and fierce expressions.  Perhaps they thought it was a bribe.

Forget you, Library, I thought, or words to that effect.  I don't need your...books.  But who was I fooling? No library loot for several months was starting to make Bybee a very unhappy girl.

Feeling moody, I wandered into the stacks on Monday and glared at the shelves.  Nothing I want, anyway.  So there, Library.  Put that in the funny wedge-shaped glass thing on the side of your building and smoke it.


And then.  And then!  I saw it peeking out at me, almost coyly.  The Inland Island by Josephine Johnson!  A gorgeous hardcover copy that looked brand-new and the cover creaked when I opened it!  Josephine Johnson!  Josephine WINSLOW Johnson!  Pulitzer prizewinning Josephine W. Johnson!  I just finished Now in November a couple of months ago.  I was giddy. This book was going home with me!..then I remembered.

This newest library situation must be resolved.  I didn't suffer through four years of working at a school in which the library's Dewey Decimal system stopped at 799 only to be denied  checkout privileges at my current school because of someone's stupid mistake (perhaps mine).

My next move is to visit Office Guy in the English Department and tell him that I lost a library book and want to pay to have it replaced.  Then he can call the charming fellow at the desk on the 4th floor of the library and try to sort things out.  I hope we can kiss, make up, and go on as before.  If not, and Charming-Nim wants to make an example of me, so be it. I suppose I'll be visiting The Inland Island.

6 comments:

Sam Sattler said...

What a mess...can't believe they won't take your money. Seems like they would like to replace the book and move on. Hang in there; maybe you can out last them.

Marg said...

Hope you do get to make up with your library! I can't imagine not having access to mine.

Kathleen said...

I hope you will have your check-out privileges reinstated SOON. I would be very sad if I couldn't check out books from my library.

Care said...

Can you buy the book and offer it as a return? Or ... Did you check the shelves to see it was put back in its spot without getting credited appropriately? Sigh, hope it all works out! I suggest you read some Cloud Atlas.

A Library Girl said...

It's weird that the won't let you just pay for the book - maybe, keeping in mind that they might charge more than just the cost of the book (in order to take into account processing costs), she just automatically assumed you wouldn't want to pay what they'd charge? Very odd.

As far as buying a replacement copy goes, that might be even less acceptable than giving them money. From a library's perspective, a replacement book can be a pain if it's not an exact replacement, published in the exact same year, by the same publisher, because then, in addition to processing costs, the library also has to have the book completely recataloged.

A Library Girl said...

Oh, and if I were you, I'd definitely do what Care said and check the shelves yourself. You have an incentive to find the book that the underpaid staff person or volunteer who got sent to look for it (if they even sent anyone) didn't have. Plus, I know for a fact that different sets of eyes can help when looking for missing/improperly checked in library books.