Thursday, May 05, 2011


Dear libraries I have used or may one day use:

The book I "never returned," I did return it. Yup. I may not be the neatest of all people - clean, but not neat - but I always keep library books apart, in their own neat mini-universe, apart from the general chaos that is whichever space I'm inhabiting.

Here's what I know did happen. You know that "ding" that's supposed to happen when the scanner and barcode meet? It never happened. Either the staff member whose job it is to do this didn't at all, or, more likely, it didn't register. (I used to love scanning when my job at the library was shelving, probably because scanning wasn't shelving - variety!)

Either way, I get it, it's so obviously my fault, I obviously keep my library books under a pile of unfinished baguettes, the dorm mouse-or-is-it-a-small-rat using them to build a scale replica of the Osama McMansion. But yes, I will go look for the book, even if you're a library with a bizarre call number system and many gratuitous flights of stairs, and a rule that only those physically incapable of taking stairs can use the elevator, which would at any rate only cover some of the many flights involved. I will accept it when you express surprise that I had, in fact, returned the book a couple days before and, what, there it is! On the stacks! Or, if need be, I'll walk the miles upon miles across a certain vertigo-inducing research library because the problem was that the "ding" needs to happen with my card, not just the book, and my card being on my person, I myself have to show up even once it's been established that the book is in, thus, despite being fern,* not my fault!

*I may have called "un millefeuille" "une millefeuille," thinking "feuille" but thinking wrong, and yes, I may have seriously considered eating said item on the street around 7pm, but I'm not a barbarian! Not when it comes to library books.

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