If you’ve been around a while, you know I have a fear of public libraries. Not of what they are, but of my own tendency to lose books or forget to return them for
weeks months years on end.
But as I worked on my book manuscript over the past few months, my feelings of dread were mostly replaced with warm-fuzzies.
Y’all, when you need a place to work without distraction and without feeling obligated to buy really expensive cups of coffee, the local library is the perfect place to go. I spent day after day in ours.
So many days that I finally took a big risk and checked out a book for my son. He wanted to read it, but was way down the list to check it out at his school library.
I shoved down my panic, knowing I was coming every single day and that my chances of remembering to return this book were significantly higher than usual.
I walked to the Counter of Shame and told them I was sure I had a fine.
It was $25.
A sufficiently embarrassing fine, don’t ya think? And yet, still, I felt warm fuzzies.
All that time in the library let me see how vital it is for our community. How vital it is for every community. I didn’t even know we had homeless people in our town, but we do. They get warm and spend time learning and bettering themselves every single day in the library.
As someone who has an Internet Presence, I forget there are those who don’t have access to the internet. But I saw people, young and old, in the library everyday, using the computers to take classes and apply for jobs and improve their lives.
I also know that as a young mom in a new town, the first friends I made were the ones I met at preschool storytime. (Though I purposefully avoided those noisy times when working on my book.)
I know. I’m mostly just getting sentimental. But even though I didn’t like writing a check for $25 to pay fines on things that could have been free, I was happy that the money was going for a very good cause. A cause I had personally benefited from for months.
Not that I’ve decided I can afford library books after all. I really can’t. I stopped checking out books for my son a few weeks before my manuscript was due because I couldn’t be ABSOLUTELY sure I’d be there every single day when he was done with it.
And I’m most excited that I can now check out books on my Kindle since I’m fine-free. You can’t even check out Kindle books if your KIDS have fines. Kindle books don’t get late fines, they just disappear from your Kindle!!
I am hoping that my future financial support will come from donations of books for their annual book sale. That sounds much better than $25 fines, don’t you think?