Small miracle on library place?

JIM BANHOLZER

Centre Hall

While riding our commuter bus, Jackie, one of the handicapped students suddenly dropped her library book, Michael Talbot’s groundbreaking “Holographic Universe” onto some molecules in the wheelchair aisle.

Notably, the book spilled open to a page that covered both miracles and time. This unlocked a discussion where Jackie mentioned the curious book was long overdue, and she hesitates to check out any more books because she often loses track of time.

A couple of us told Jackie that a lot of librarians like to forgive. They might waive the late fee if she mentions the fact that she was snowbound the day it was due and the roads were closed. Not only that, but we found out that Jackie was unaware she could have easily extended her borrowing time over her phone or even online – that is, so long as somebody else hadn’t already reserved the insightful holographic reading for their borrowed time, and if Jackie had her library card number ready.

I disliked seeing humble Jackie hesitating over this small change issue while still indecisive about checking out another book. Conspicuously, the next day I read that some libraries have developed innovative amnesty programs for encouraging poor people to comply with late fees. Following that, even waste-transfer and dump stations often give mulligans and occasionally designate specific drop-off dates for unwanted items and hazardous materials.

Besides what I unearthed about libraries providing occasional forgiveness days (which doesn’t address the issue of existing overdue fees) some libraries have initiated a popular food-for-fines program, which helps by having a particular day where patrons bring food items in for local homeless shelter donations, giving one dollar credit of waived library fee per item. Sometimes they’ve found they need to apply a cap on the total amount they allow waived.

I hope this refreshing news helps Jackie some with her decision. Her fellow bus riders wouldn’t like seeing her allow a few dollars to subtract from her important investment in our far-reaching and wide-reading universe.

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