Saturday, May 4, 2013

Library Fines

Lately I've been using the library for most I've the books I've been reading. I almost always return my books on time. But last week before I could check out Code Name Verty I has a steep $3.10 overdue fine to pay (I think I had two books that were overdue for about two weeks...and the best part is they were both did-not-finish books). 

How do you feel when you have to pay your library fines?

I'm always feel slightly embarrassed and feel like I'm doing a library walk of shame. I tell myself the librarians must not mind because over due noon fines = supporting the library. Or maybe the librarians are secretly judging me. I did find out that I can pay my fines online. Next time maybe I will try that, it's less embarrassing!

57 comments :

  1. I was so bad at returning library books as a kid that my mum didn't go to the library with me for a very long time. I always had the urge to keep all the books because as soon as I like a book I have to have it on my shelf or Kindle. That wasn't so easy with library books so I paid huge amounts of money for overdue books. It became so bad that I still don't own a valid library card so that I cannot borrow any books and have to bring them back.
    I would love to use the library but I'm clearly not made for the system. :)

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  2. I work in a library and trust me, we love the people who just pay their fines with little argument. Also anything under 10 dollars is considered low. We only judge when people throw a fit over 50 cents.

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    1. I never cause trouble when it comes to paying my library fines. I just feel embarrased!

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    2. Agree. I'm a librarian. I'm GLAD you pay your fines so we don't have to call your house (x300 persons) during amnesty week to beg you to bring your books back.

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    3. And half the time the numbers are disconnected...

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  3. I do the same thing - feel like an idiot, but then justify it by saying "Hey, I'm giving the library money. That's good, right??"

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    1. Exactly! We're helping them pay for future books!

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  4. Oh, I feel the same way! I hate having to pay fines. The weird thing is that I feel more awkward paying a fine of say, twenty cents, over a fine of two dollars. And like you said, of course I know that librarians don't judge you or mind but it's still incredibly embarrassing.

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  5. I always feel embarrassed too. However, our local library does a summer reading program for adults as well as kids, and last year, one of the "prizes" for completing the program was a special library card, with no fines for a whole year. It's been awesome. I'm usually pretty good at getting books in on time, but when they're late...they're reallllly late. I'm hoping that's a prize this summer too, because I love it!

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    1. Kudos to your library! That is a really good prize!

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  6. I don't think you need to worry about it! One time, I was with my younger sister, trying to check out books for her school report, when the girl at the counter said that she couldn't, due to the accretion of $7.29 (!!!) in fines. My sister was embarrassed, but we all just laughed it off. I asked the girl whether she had managed some kind of record, and she replied, "Seeing as though I have over $15 in fines right now, I'm going to have to say no." So, no worries about fines: It even happens to librarians! :)

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    1. I think I'd cry if I had $15 in library fines. I'd never show my face in there again!

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  7. I don't mind it so much. My thought process is that I"m supporting the library. As someone who works at a video rental chain, we tend not to be upset with customers who have late fees unless they get defensive about it, or rack up huge ones with little to no intention of paying them.
    So I like to assume librarians take the same stance. Admittedly, I do have one or two librarians that seem not to like me, but not because of late fees. I think they're just confused that one person can check out so many books for herself. Every time I go to those particular ones, they're all, "You do realize you have TWELVE other books out right now, right?"
    What can I say? I'm an addict. :P

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  8. I had to pay $5 once. Talk about sheepish.

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    1. I haven't had a library fine that high (yet!)

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  9. Like everything we need to own up to our mistakes and take our lumps. I figure that overdue fines are a way that the library encourages us to return our items on time so that others can read the books. Sometimes I even decide to keep books past the due date so that I can finish them, figuring that the $.15/day fine is a lot cheaper than buying the book. In schools where there are no fines students sometimes keep a book all year keeping other students from even having a crack at the book, so I think that small fines are OK and there is no shame involved.

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  10. I think of it this way...libraries only get a very small amount of funds, and those fine fees help them! I mean of course I don't return a book late on purpose, but when it happens it's usually at most $3 or so, and that I can usually handle! :)

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  11. You have no idea how jealous I am of your library fines... Here (in Germany), if a book was overdue for 2 weeks, you would pay 5 Euros per item - that's around $6.50. (They charge 2.50 Euros for every week that begun after the item is due.)
    I wish the libraries here had more English books. The one near where we'll be moving to later this year has approximately 500 books in foreign languages. And that's all languages!

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    1. At my local library it's 10 cents a day (US dollars) for each overdue book.

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    2. That would be heaven! Along with the almost unlimited access to English books ;-)

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  12. I'm responsible for calling in the overdues at my department, and when I see someone who has checked out 30 books go over, I make a point of calling them ASAP, and calling them again if I have to -- because at a quarter a day, it's really easy for someone to rack up a hundred dollars if they have a lot of books checked out. I don't want the dread of fine-paying to keep someone out of the library -- that's what happened to me for a few years in middle school. I was afraid to go in there because I had a fine of $7 and felt SO embarrassing.

    Then again I'm baffled as to why someone would check out 30 books a time when they know they can't read that many in two weeks. I generally read 150 books a year, and even I couldn't manage 15 books in one week!

    Of course, now I in a library so I can keep an eye on my card and renew items as needed.

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  13. I haven't had a library fine yet! Our library does a 3 day grace period too so sometimes I am late with my books but technically don't get a fine. It is my goal to never get a fine!!

    angie

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  14. "Walk of shame" is pretty much the best way to describe how I feel when I have to pay library fines. I'm so obsessive about not paying fines that I'll return books half-finished if they're on the verge of being overdue.

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  15. I rarely have fines, but if I do I pay them with no worries. I figure that if I could check them out for free I don't mind paying for turning them in late! (Besides, it's always such a small amount!)

    But I do remember going to check out books at my family's neighborhood library and they said I had a $15 fee for a book I didn't turn in back when I was in Jr. High!! I was so shocked that I'm sure I seemed embarrassed, but I happily paid it!

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  16. My old library has the option to renew books online. I have used that a couple times when I checked out books. Now though I mainly check out ebooks because it is too far to drive to my old library since I have moved. I should probably get a card to the library near me but they close at 5pm and by the time my husband gets home it is too late or he has work stuff to do and cannot take me. (I cannot drive because of health issues.)

    My mom's record for highest overdue fine is close to $500. She had checked out a few books and a bunch of dvds. Then forgot about them when she moved, they charged her the overdue charges plus cost of the books/dvds. She drove two counties over to return them and they waved the cost of the materials and only required her to pay two weeks worth of fines.

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    1. A $500 dollar fine?!? I would have fallen over. I'm glad the library was understanding so she only had to pay a two week fine!

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  17. I'm a librarian and since I have people paying for fines every single day it literally doesn't even cause a blip when I see a fine. Absolutely no reason to feel shame or embarrassment. Trust me there's no judgment going on! As long as they get paid without too much grumbling on the patron's part it is just considered a normal part of using the library. Even when I see ridiculous fines for missing books and stuff, I don't judge--things happen, ya know? The only thing that makes me give people the side eye is when they try to get out of paying up.

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    1. Glad to have a librarian's point of view! I never give trouble when I'm paying my overdue fines!

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  18. I frequently have library fines, but I always pay up when I get to the library. My husband teases me that the City Library will name a new wing after me that the build with my fines. I look at it as a contribution to the library and a way for the library to encourage people not to keep books (or whatever) longer than they need them. In addition to being a payer of library fines I am also a librarian and I agree totally with the posts from others that the judgement is for people who kick up a fuss about paying the fines, not the people who keep the books out extra and then pay for doing so.

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  19. I wear them as a badge of honour. I just paid a $10.45 fine yesterday :D It's a hassle to pay them, especially if I haven't even finished a book yet, but I guess they're used to it, and they get money from it too! Haha

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  20. As I librarian, I think I feel more awkward telling you that you have fines than you do paying them. We have a $10 fine limit, so once you're over that, you can't take out books until it comes under that again. It's so hard to tell an 8 year old who has been dropped off by themself for half an hour that we can't give them books because of the fines on their mum's card! But. . . to be honest about every third person that comes to the counter has fines, so I wouldn't worry about it to much!

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  21. I very rarely have library fines but when I do it's never more than a dollar. I was at the library a couple months ago standing at the self-checkout when I overheard someone had accrued $75 in overdue fines!! :-O The person apparently had checked out a bunch of DVDs and didn't realize that (1)DVDs are only allowed to be checked out for a week (2)They are fined $1 a day. I wonder if that person ever showed her face at the library again.

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  22. I had to pay $8 once. I am always super embarrassed about getting fines, but I mostly read e-books now so when I'm late I don't get a fine anymore, they just expire!

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  23. I always seem to have library fines, but they usually are at the very most $1. It is slightly embarrassing but I figure that I'm just helping the library out by donated to their cause. :)

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  24. Eh, I just think of it as supporting my local library! It does make it hard to get on my students when they have overdues, though.... :-P

    ~Merin @ Read and Reviewed~

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  25. I wouldn't worry too much. The librarians where I go are really great and even don't mind if I can only pay .50 at a time. I'm sure it's the same at your library. Embarrassingly enough I am going to have some fines to pay when I return the book I'm reading later this week. It's due back today, but I'm not finished and I can't renew it because someone else has it reserved. My plan of attack is to speed read tomorrow and Monday and return it by Tuesday.

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  26. I've started paying mine online just because I rack up an embarrassing amount of fines. Like so many that they're pretty much saying just don't come back. I'm the worst at returning books; I move every few months and never remember to return the books first and then I just get these HUGE fines. I really need to stop doing that.

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  27. I'm always embarrassed by fines! But I get them often enough to know the policies. They will erase all your fines for $10, which is nice, because they want you to use the library. But as soon as you go over $10, you can't use the self-check out anymore and that is when I get embarrassed. Luckily, if it gets too bad, I can pay my fines online!

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  28. Library walk of shame, that's awesome. I never thought of it like that. I never mind paying the fines, since it is another way to finance the libraries I love and I don't often return books late. Probably the thing that helps the most is that I can pay my fines online or at a self-checkout post so I don't have to look at the librarian while I do it. If I had to be helped by a librarian, I would probably feel like I was doing the library walk of shame.

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  29. I have $6.75 in fines accrued at present so I can't put anything on hold or use the digital library until I pay it. It seems like the account is restricted if you have over $5 in late fees as I was able to check out ebooks when I had a $4,50 fine one time last year. I need to make it out to the library sometime while they're open - hard when I work nights - and actually pay the fee. I miss using the digital library.

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  30. I hate library fines! I actually don't think I should have to pay them since I donate all my read review books to the library, BUT I still do. I figure any way I can support the library is good :)

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  31. I don't usually feel ashamed when I pay them because the people at my library don't really seem pressed. I do have like a 5.00 fine looming over me, but I just haven't had to time to get out there.

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  32. If it makes you feel better, I had fines out the wazoo from the library in my middle school. (I'm pretty sure that I still haven't paid them.) Who would've thought that a little 11-year old could owe THAT much money to a library.

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  33. I'm not really sure why my library doesn't fine for overdue books. Maybe it has something to do with me living in a small town. I kept 'Les Miserables' for 3 weeks over it's due date (don't judge! It's a really long book and I was determined to finish!) and they only sent me an email reminding me it was due before it was due. But I have lived in areas where it was 50 cents to a dollar per day and I thought that was outrageous. I do owe about $3 in printing fees from a couple of years ago, but they never bother me about it.

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  34. Eh, I don't really care about paying fines, though I usually do it online because it's easier. But honestly, I've never thought it was that big of a deal. Everyone turns things in late sometimes. I find the librarians are usually very understanding and just say they hoped I liked the book. Maybe we just have really nice librarians here?

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  35. I work at the library, so I don't have to pay overdue fines, thankfully. =) But we really don't care about people paying overdue fines, just as long as we get the material back! And when people can't renew things because there are holds on the items and they are not done, we tell them that it is an option to just keep it until they finish and pay the fine. we don't really care. So don't feel so embarrassed. It really doesn't matter. =)

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  36. I am one of those people that is always borrowing a lot of books at one time. Sometimes I can't renew them more than once and that's when the fines start.:)Depending how into a book I am, I might keep reading it until I finish before returning it (even if its 2 or 3 days late). I think the largest fine I've ever had was $15 and I was embarrassed that it was so high. However, I am happy to support my local library. :)

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  37. Yeah, sometimes it can be slightly embarrassing...especially when the overdue book is some Garfield manga that your little sister checked out and forgot to turn back in!

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  38. Okay so I have been working in different libraries for 10 years now and we are in the process of moving out f state...which means I will no longer be working in the system...which means I won't have a staff card...which means I will have library fines for the first time in ten years. OMG OMG OMG OMG. I can't even deal with it.

    But ANYWHO, as a librarian, unless you have high fines we try not to judge. It's once your account gets blocked (over $10) that we start being all "tsk tsk" the computer even makes a noise when your account comes up..GASP!!

    No pressure, though.. :]

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  39. I have a pretty hefty fine that I need to pay right now. I blame my boyfriend who checks out books on my card and then keeps them forever. Also, our Seattle fines are higher than most library fines that I've seen.

    I pay online so I don't have to deal with the guilt.

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  40. Our library is $0.10 per item per day. Not bad at all. I try to get my fines paid as soon as they are there. I don't think I've ever paid more than $1 at a time. We do have a $5 limit. I have worked at the circulation desk in our local library and I can verify what another comment said: It's more awkward to tell the patron about a fine than it is to be on the other side of the desk paying it. Sometimes people just don't have the money. :(

    The fines do help support your library so NO SHAME. :)

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  41. I'm a little late to this discussion, but as a public librarian, I can promise you that we are not judging. Hell, librarians get fines, too! It's when people end up with tons of fines, and never pay that frustrate us. Or worse, when they check out tons of materials, and then don't return any of it, amounting to hundreds of dollars in fines. I mean, if you lose an item, that's not a big deal, as long as you pay the fine. But ignoring it is frustrating.

    So don't be embarrassed at all about your fines. I'm in the library five days a week, and I still manage to get lots of fines. I just paid a 7 dollar fine the other day :)

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  42. I used to be really good at returning my library books, then my local library brought in a new computer system - and with it started loaning books for three weeks and not four. It's been about four years, and I'm still not used to the new system so I keep getting fines!

    Sarah

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  43. I always feel really bad - my city library system just introduced a new email service where they let you know a few days before that something will be overdue, which is handy - but mostly if I don't get them back on time, it's because of my work hours clashing with the library hours, so sometimes I just have to take the fine and look apologetic... :)

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  44. i am lucky that so far despite my over the top library borrowing i am yet to get a fine. this may be at least partly because my library gives you a warning if books are overdue 1 month and you are not fined until 2 weeks after the warning. ( i love that system)

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  45. I feel the same way. My library has a system online where a person can check out a book and have it placed on hold from the comfort of their own homes. I always know that if I am unable to electronically renew my book online someone is anxiously waiting on it. The fact that I turn said book in makes me feel like I am depriving them. I feel like a very cruel book bandit who deserves more than the $.10 charge a day for my transgression.

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  46. I check out a lot of books from the library and I was always pretty awesome about keeping track to make sure I didn't have anything overdue. If I did, it was usually on purpose, such as I wasn't finished reading it and I couldn't renew it. Now though I volunteer at my library shelving books. One of the perks that I didn't know about until I started volunteering, was that I don't have to pay library fines anymore. I REALLY try not to take advantage of this, but when I was moving my weekly library day, I ended up being overdue a lot until I got it back to a regular schedule.

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