Saturday, December 29, 2012

What People Don't Understand About Libraries

Working in customer service can be brutal.

Most of my bad days I spend apologizing for things that aren't the library's fault, and I can't do anything about it. So, you have to grow a thick skin to tolerate all the spittle and cussing coming out of people's mouths, and realize that it's not you personally that they are angry with. It's not even always the establishment they are angry with. I'm pretty good about just letting most of the angry insults roll off and not bother with them, but there is one that manages to flare me up every time (even if I don't look visible angry) ---

I hate. hate. hate. HATE. when people accuse the library of being a money-hungry establishment and people shouldn't have to pay fines at all.

The library is anything but money-hungry or wealthy for that matter. Sure, the property taxes go into the library building itself and that money also goes towards acquiring materials for our collection. What a lot of people don't realize is that sometimes the things that we purchase for public use don't always come back. I used to have deep attachments to specific books and would dread seeing them get checked out, because every time and item checks out, that doesn't mean that it will ever be checked in. Yes, people unknowingly steal from the library. Stealing from the library means stealing from you the taxpaying citizen. So... the money you put into funding our collection is literally walking out the door. If they don't bring it back, do we charge them? -yes, of course. And we charge retail price plus a process fee hoping they will never not bring a library book back again. And late fees? - yes, those who don't return the item promptly are taking the time you need with the item away from you. Late fees ensure that people will want to bring the books/movies back. Who wants to pay money they don't have to? I don't!

That being said, people don't bring back items and people don't pay their fines. The library hemorrages money every day for you, the citizen paying the property taxes's, benefit. The rule for lost items and late fees are in place to protect your interest so your money doesn't go to waste. We spend a good chunk of money reordering items that people take and don't bring back.

So, if you ever EVER say the library is money-hungry and awful, YOU SELFISH PERSON YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF AND RETURN YOUR BOOKS ON TIME >:(

.... and then you bitch at me and make me feel bad for things that I can't do anything about ;n;

This has been a courtesy message from your friendly neighborhood librarian circulation clerk

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