My daughter's kindergarten class had a field trip to the public library about a month ago. She signed up for her own library card, and in her large six-year-old penmanship, wrote her name on the back of the card. Just her first name, that is. Who needs last names when you're six?
That night we returned to the library, checked out a hefty canvas bag-full of books using her new card, and then proceeded to leave that bag of books in the corner of our family room.
Time passed. The end of the semester fell into its typical frenetic pace. Life happened. Pneumonia happened. I never thought of those books again until I noticed the canvas bag lurking in the corner this morning.
This afternoon I paid the public library $15.30 in late fees for a stack of books that we never read.
Do you still send email reminders when books are nearing their due date? I asked the librarian, hoping that she'd realize that I was a first-time offender, waive the fee, and instead issue a stern warning.
Yes, they still send reminders. It just so happened that when Reese used her own card, no email address was listed with her name. And email reminders are the vital lifelines that have kept all of our previous trips to the library in the black.
Earlier this week, in fact, email was helpful to notify me that I had an unpaid parking ticket from the morning during the last week of classes when Joel and I needed to swap cars. I had driven our van (sans parking pass) to the commuter lot where I park, and within one hour, the parking pass-less van had been nabbed.
Although I don't love that I've shelled out nearly $24 in the past week to pay for mistakes, it happens.
My goal is to prevent it from happening again, and thanks to a newly reconfigured library account for my daughter -- this time with my email address listed -- we're headed in the right direction.
Especially when I remember the parking pass.