An Amnesty for Library Slackers

Friday 20 December 2013

Do you still do that old-fashioned thing of actually borrowing actual books from your actual library?  I know, right?  It's so three-dimensional.  Moving your body into a public shared space to borrow books that are on paper?  Bizarre!

Though there is a growing amount of reading I am finding myself doing on my phone (must stop that stupid habit) on the e-reader and on the computer, for me they are still a shadow of the old ways.  The tactile nature of reading a book that is made from paper not plastic means that my enjoyment of book-learnin' has only grown alongside my e-reading.

I love the library, and do not take for granted living in a country that has a plethora of books available for me to borrow and read for myself, all for nothing at my local libe!

Well, nothing except for the fact that as taxpayers we actually pay for it anyway.  But nothing as in no user-pays charges.  Which is a refreshing change, I must say.

And except it doesn't even end up being nothing for me anyway, because as an avid user who struggles to maintain herself upright and responsible and adult and productive within space-time, there's often library fines on my card.

I feel bad about that.  Every time I get another fine I tell myself that that is the last time it will happen.  Next time, I will be more organised and get them back on time.  Which is sort of sad because I actually already am organised.  As soon as I borrow books I come home, make a note of when they're due, and type myself a reminder a day or two earlier to take them back.  But still, one never can tell what sort of a day one is going to have, and suddenly one can find oneself putting off the library till tomorrow, and then tomorrow forgetting about going to the library at all.


Which is why I am a little bit in love with the Eastern Regional Library Service's Xmas Food for Fines Amnesty.  Basically, it's a swap - you bring in some non-perishable food all this week, and the library will waive your fines.

Being able to contribute what constitutes a pittance in my country - like, five bucks - but knowing that it will make a diff to some of my fellow struggling folks via local charities, and in the process having the punishment for my impertinence wiped clean?  Nice.  I like that.  Very, very much.

And it ends tomorrow, so wish me luck for getting there on time. 

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