A Fine Idea

Having, ahem, accrued a not entirely unsubstantial library fine at the city’s junior library, I find myself too poor to check out library books.  Which begs the question, does that institution want my trade or just my money?  So it was not without interest that I read on Galleycat that NYC public libraries are giving kids a chance to “read down” their library fines.   You know the cliche: time=money.  Obviously reading takes time.  Therefore it follows that reading=money.  Of course this is also disconcerting.  Reading, widely regarded as a harmless, inexpensive pastime could actually be costing you or someone you love money.  Suppose it takes you five or ten hours to read a moderately long book.   Think about the money you might have made while you were sitting on your duff reading about the adventures of a vampire-slaying super-sleuth linguist astronaut. . . well, let’s not go there.   I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or worse, unrepentant–I want to support the public library and yes, I did keep those Deadwood DVDs several days past their due date.  But times are tough. Now they’re calling my house threatening to deface that sanctum sanctorum: my credit report.  You’d expect this sort of behavior from, say, a library that actually calls itself “mercantile”, yet ironically we’re fairly easy-going on the fines front, don’t want to put you off, after all.  Faced with with this ultimate humiliation, I’m going to have to start busking for pennies.  I think I’ll start outside the main entrance to the Public Library.   -Ed Scripsi

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Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I remember at the beginning of the summer, the Cincinnati library announced that it was offering an alternate library card which children can get without a parent’s signature, checking out a very limited number of books at a time- no fines, but they can’t check out more books until they return the ones they have.

    That seemed to me to be a great way to help the kids who want to read but whose parents aren’t invested in helping them grow up as readers.


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