Lori's Book Nook

Library News

Posted on: January 8, 2007

Two pieces of library news (well, one piece of not-news) came my way this morning, so I thought I’d share them with you.

First off, the news that a  man returned a book to the library after 47 years and paid his $171 in fines. Wow.

Secondly, via Nag’s book blog, is a story about librarians’ job to remove books from circulation…and how they’re using computer programs to weed out books not taken out in 24 months or more: Hello, Grisham — So Long, Hemingway?

This, unfortunately, is not a new story. When you stop to think about it, a librarian’s job is difficult. Librarians love books, and it is probably very distressing to delete classics to make shelf space for the latest bit of fluff.

If it makes you angry that Hemingway is making way for Grisham, then do something about it. Go to your local library today, and take out a couple of classics. Next week, borrow a couple more. If they’re circulated, they’ll stay. (The main character in the novel Bellwether by Connie Willis does this as part of her weekly errands…a great idea.)

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5 Responses to "Library News"

If you figure it out, that library was only charging one cent a day for a fine. Our library charges 10 cents a day, but I guess they had to hold the fine at the original rate from when he checked the book out.

Can you imagine? $1,700+ for an overdue book?

My question is, after he returned the book and paid the enormous fine, did he do the irresistibly funny thing and check it right back out again, saying, as he left the counter, “I still have a few more chapters to get through.”?

Regarding your recommendation to check out lightly circulated books, I say, of course, bravo! Great idea. But it only works if your local library has the book in the first place. In my little town, just to cite one example, the MLA 100 Best Novels in English list is woefully represented. Fewer than 40 of what are considered by some to be the FIRST 100 books a library should stock in fiction, aren’t there at all. I’ve considered doing a variation of what you recommend: donating my copies of a few dozen of those essential titles. Notice I said “considered.”

David, it would good to donate the books (if you had ’em to spare), because just donating money would get more copies of Dan Brown on the shelf, instead of a copy of Robert Browning.

Maddening.

(and I would be that nobody in the house ever even read that 10-year overdue book! Typical!)

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