Ever have a moment of clarity, when you think to yourself, “Why did I do that?” I had that earlier this week when I checked out my online library account . I have $49 in fines, because I had 14 books checked out, and returned them seven days late. At $0.50 per day per book, it adds up quickly.
It is completely my fault; I used the books near two months ago, and kept renewing them online because, well, I was too lazy to lug 14 heavy books from home back to the library. If I was smart, I would have brought a couple of books to campus with me each day, but, sometimes we can all do rather stupid things.
Outraged at this amount owing, I took up my frustrations on Facebook, to which several friends shared their library fines horror stories.
Clara says, “$100 in late fees… that was when I signed out over 20 books for a research essay and was a few days late….”
Lori, a friend who has since graduated, says, “in second year I racked up $200 and then cried to get out of them. Six months later I incurred another $150 – when I tried to cry my way out again they had a note in my file that I had already used up my ‘cry card’ – who knew!?”
The common theme through the comments is that some students for some reason have an issue with getting books back on time! And that online renewal system, well I swear it was created by the devil! They lull you into a false sense of security thinking, “oh I have another two weeks before those books are due,” and then two weeks is up and you renew them again. Eventually you can’t and you get stuck with these fees.
So why, you may ask, is this important?
Well, first off, you cannot take any more books out of the libraries until the amount is paid off. They do this if your balance owing hits $25 or higher. I guess they think you are pretty unreliable for getting books back at this point, so better to cut you off before you do more damage.
Second, you cannot graduate or receive your transcripts with a balance owing!
The library folk are a smart people and have thought of all the angles to make sure a) you return the books, and b) you pay your fines.
My suggestion: be on top of it. Set a reminder in your phone to tell you to take them back. $0.50 a day doesn’t seem like much, but trust me, it adds up very quickly.
So I have shared with you my story, why don’t you share yours in my comments section?