November 29, 2011

The Case of the Missing Library Book

My kids spent the bulk of the afternoon today in an orthodontist's office waiting room. Fortunately, we came prepared with homework, snacks, coloring books...and a piece of contraband in the form of a library book.

"What is that doing here?" I screeched when the object emerged from one of my kid's backpacks. After paying exactly $57.18 to the local library in lost book fees over the past year, I've instituted a strict policy: no library books outside the house.

"I won't let it out of my sight," my son vowed.

By the time we emerged from the exam room, the waiting room was completely empty except for the receptionist. The woman smiled and watched us in amusement as my kids gathered up their stuff.

"Looks like you've got you hands full," she giggled as Cortlen slung his backpack over his shoulder...before zipping it up. The sight of the mass of papers and books reminded me about the contraband.

"Where's the library book?" I asked. "I want to see it."

After an extensive period of searching through all of our personal belongings, the library book was deemed officially MIA.

"It has to be here," I insisted, scanning the empty waiting room. I ordered my kids to look through the magazine rack and under all the chairs.

Meanwhile, the receptionist got out the vacuum and starting turning off the lights.

I was on my hands and knees, with my head stuck under a row of chairs when the receptionist asked if we were looking for a library book because she found one a few minutes earlier and had put it behind the counter for safekeeping.

I pulled my head out and glared at her.

And then I hugged her.

18 comments

Mom of 12 said...

My autistic son borrowed an Owl City CD from our library and after it was a week overdue they threatened to send him to collections. He was in California with the marching band at the time, so I went to the library and paid for the CD and the processing fee...grand total nearly thirty dollars! We found the missing item within days of his return and he received his refund last week...$12.68. What a racket!
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Tracie said...

"Looks like you've got you hands full," she giggled as Cortlen slung his backpack over his shoulder

I HATE HATE HATE When people point that out. Do they think you don't know this already? You should come read my post about this same type of thing at http://alextracieandtheweeones.blogspot.com/2011/07/life-with-twins-in-nut-shell.html

Thanks again for sharing your similar stories! They make my day!

Margaret C said...

Hi Janelle, I just wanted to pop in and tell you about a BBC show called MIke the Knight ( I live in the Uk, but thought you might be able to get it on the Iplayer ?? ) 5yr old DD is OBSESSED and keeps asking about trebuchets....

Erin said...

I always pay a massive amount of late/lost fees at the library and it is worth it to me. I know if I was paying to rent movies or buy books it would add up to way more than that. Right now we are living abroad and the library here is just tiny. I am grateful for it, but oh so grateful for the libraries in America. I am glad you found your book!

Carolyn said...

Why is it library books make me feel so incredibly guilty? Like keeping track of them is a measure of my motherhood skills? We have very strict library rules as well--I make my kids check the list every day--and they still come up missing at times! So glad you found the darned book!

meg said...

Library books... love 'em and hate 'em. They got lost SO easily. I had a dog chew up the corner of one, and they made me pay $22.50 for the stinkin' thing!

Nikki said...

@ Sandy - your library gives refunds!?!? LUCKY!!

AshHadAns said...

I checked out an ancient Curious George book once and when I returned it the librarian tried to make me pay for it because it was in such bad shape. I refused because it looked that way when I got it. Now every time I log on to my account I see that big red BLOCK alert on my page that will probably be there forever showing that I refused to pay for a book. I love our library and appreciate that they have saved me thousands of dollars over the years, but I refuse to pay a fine for something I didn't do.
I think they want people to lose or tear stuff up. Then they can charge twice the price of the item in return.

Jennifer said...

Our library's computer screws up all of the time and says that books have not been returned when in fact they have been and are already placed back on the shelf. I have gotten many phone calls stating I have an overdue book when in fact, once checked, said book is on the shelf. Taking out library books always feels like a risk to me!! I never know if I will get accused of having a book I know I have returned and then dealing with all of their pesky phone calls-Added stress to my already stressful day!

Meredith said...

New to this blog, but love, love, love it...!

Danielle Cooper said...

Oh my gosh your hilarious Im instantly hooked to your blog!

Cecilia said...

That is hysterical...only to me...mom of six under 10! We have a policy as well about our library books and it never fails to have one go missing in the most inopportune place! Murphy's law that the receptionist had it!!

The Davis Family said...

Last year,our library built a new children's wing. I was very proud of that wing, since my late fees probably paid for a large part of it!

zak said...

Gettin rid of a bunch Disney stuff:
http://tinyurl.com/6sctek3

Christyn@StrivingforSimple.com said...

Sooo funny, I'm actually worse than you...I considered stopping going to the library all together..but my kids might report me to the police at that point!!

Joslin @ Just Batty said...

i HATE! when people say "looks like you've got your hands full" I want to come back with some quick quip, but I don't have one because I know they are right! And, I knew as soon as she came into your story she would have it behind the counter! Why don't we help each other as women?

Heather@ That Uncomfortable Itch said...

Libraries are really rather evil. They parade around offering free book service to people but they are really liars. For every book we check out I can count on paying at least $15-20. And the movies? They ding you a $1 per day for every late day. And you only get them for a week. What is that? We have kept movies for over a year. Pure evil.

John Scott said...

Sometimes it's cheaper and less hassle to buy your own books. You can buy some used books on Amazon for a penny, plus shipping. For about $4. you have your own book permanently, for your child and the coming children. Books are great gifts for kids. Best books for children is a list of books for kids by teachers, librarians, and from awards. Parents do well to thoughtfully create a collection of books for kids.