Library... card... blocked.... suffering.... withdrawal

While I was away during the holidays, I racked up some overdues. So I dashed to the library the day after I got home to return my books. I didn’t have time to go in, much as I’d have liked to, so I used the drive-thru to deposit my books in the drop at the side of the building. That was on Sunday. Here it is Wednesday and my books have still not been checked back in! My account is blocked and I have a growing list of things I want to reserve. I’ve called them twice and was told “We’re shorthanded.” (I would have thought that my being away for a couple of weeks might have helped them to catch up!) I’m jonesing for my library use big time: losing sleep, skipping meals, biting my nails to the quick as I ration out my last few bits of reading material. Is this the DTs?

Simple: You have friends who don’t read. They will be happy to let you take out books in their name, because if you screw up again and their card is blocked, well, they don’t read.

Register for a new card under an assumed name?

DB, I feel your pain.

As a career librarian who has worked in every area from re-shelving to circulation services to cataloging, I can say with complete authority that it is entirely possible that your books were returned to the shelves without being checked back in. A way of checking this is going down there yourself and scanning the shelves for them (but be careful not to get irate in some poor clerk’s face if there are multiple copies of the same edition!).

Also, I’m appalled that the library staff seems unwilling to at least attempt to locate your books that you returned, so the check-in process could be expedited and your borrowing privileges be restored. I worked at a small-town library for a number of years and even if we were short on staff, we afforded every patron at least minimal effort to ensure they didn’t get overdue or missing book fines. Even if the library you frequent is a larger one and has a huge collection that’s difficult to manage, it only reflects poorly on their stack management system and employees that they can’t manage to get a book re-shelved within a week.

Sorry for your experience, and do like Kristen said: borrow a friend’s card. Hell, take 'em to the library with ya, maybe they’ll get interested!

[slight hijack] So what’s your biggest library overdue fine? I’m not talking about the missing book type fine, I’m saying the library-has-no-ceiling-on-late-charges kinda fine. My all-time-high was $242.35, fo two books that I kept nearly a year. Damn LAPL!!!

Yamirskoonir, my library doesn’t assess fines. (I think it’s weird too.) Did you really pay $242? :eek:

I’ve never had a fine over a few bucks - for most libraries I’ve used they cap the fine at the cost of the book, so the most it’s even possible to get charged is around $15.

I am a librarian, and I, too, am appalled at the service you’re getting. Check the shelves! I third the suggestion to borrow a card. Good on you for using the library!

My highest fine was about $25 after taking out books on tape over Christmas a few years ago. I currently owe $18 for overdue books, which I’m too embarassed, and frequently too poor, to pay.

Another librarian checking in (sorry–library humor is pretty sad, isn’t it.) Anyway, they’re not providing you with very good service. I think you’d get better results if you went there in person and asked that they checkin your materials so you can use your card again.

As for big fines–the libraries in this area usually cap the max at the cost of the book. We recently switched to a new computer system and that cap got wiped out–a woman came in to return some very overdue books and her fine was $1050.00.

I had a friend that was actually arrested for her overdue library books. I’m not sure how it worked out for her.

Dung Beetle - Yeah, I really paid that much for two books. The Los Angeles Public Library downtown branch (LAPL - OMFG it’s the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen and I could literally spend days just wandering it; L.A. Dopers you need to check it out if you’ve never visited, corner of 5th and Grand downtown) has no ceiling on their fines. It was $0.15/day per item for something like a year, with some additional fines for some previous stuff.

The really sad part is I work at a library, I go there every day, and I still have overdue items. I check out a bunch of stuff and then never get around to reading it because the required reading for my classes gets too heavy, and then at some point I lapse in my ever-perpetual renewing the due date cycle, and before I know it there’s a hold on my registration for unpaid library fines and I can’t get my classes for the next quarter.

But the cool part about working here is that I never have to actually pay the fine. :cool:

lauramarlane: Are you a Warrior Librarian? Or should I say: Ista libraria odet malissimum! Estne libri decadentes aut patrones?

And then the librarians say, “Oh, we don’t know WHY we have this reputation. Just because we give Looks of Death and can have you arrested…”

I’m still hoping they’ll teach us the Look of Death this semester. Perhaps it comes in the exit interview.

My card is blocked as well
I have 6 measly dollahs in fines… yeah Utah libraries are asses

It doesn’t stress me out… I read most of what they had that interested me years ago…

If I need something I check it out on my sons card

Wow. I’m lucky. The library here caps fines at a dollar per book, unless you actually lose it, at which point you have to pay whatever the book was worth.

Okay, get this…Now most of my books have been checked in, leaving out exactly five–the amount at which your account is blocked. Why are they tormenting me? fidget fidget fidget tic develops near right eye

Actually, I’m more of a Lipstick Librarian :wink:

Don’t all librarians? I certainly do. The fact that I don’t have to pay fines means that I pay no attention whatsoever to the due dates, and since I’m in there all the time I have stacks of books. They sit in my house until I either read them, decide that I’m not going to read them after all, or someone puts a hold on them. I’m shameless, it’s terrible, but so is everyone else there.

Finally, my account is unblocked! It took four days. I guess I’ve learned my lesson about using the book drop. I got onto the library web site and gorged myself with reserving books. Then I danced like Snoopy at suppertime. Then I reserved more books.:slight_smile:

Pfft. I had a $5 fine put on my account at my university library for a book I’d never heard of (on a subject that was absolutely uninteresting to me) that was located on a floor of the library I’ve never been on and checked out during a period of time when I was too busy to even look at the library. They said it was impossible for it to be put on my account without using my ID card. I never lend out my ID, nor do I check out books for anyone. They said the computers were infallible. I scoff at them. Obviously not or else the university network wouldn’t have gone to its knees right at the start of the semester.

They took the fine off after telling me, basically, that I was a liar and that they weren’t going to do this again. I understand that they get this a lot, but I wasn’t a criminal in desperate need of interrogation. I was crying!

I avoid using the library unless absolutely necessary these days.

I hate stories like this! Public libraries are there as a service to the public–the more people who use our facility, the better off we are and the more funding we’ll have to provide more and better services. We are not guardians of the books–that job’s reserved for archivists and rare book librarians. Sure there are rules and they’re there for a reason, but the rules shouldn’t stand in the way of basic common sense! Computer systems screw up, people make mistakes–even library staff people. If you treat patrons like that, they won’t come back and everyone suffers when that happens. :frowning: