December 3

Don’t Mess With Librarians



Earlier this week on The Catholics Next Door, as well as last week, I told the story about the Mickey Mouse DVD we checked out from our local library last July.

I promptly returned the DVD, and then a few days later the library closed for two weeks while they completely moved every book and DVD from the upstairs part of the library to the downstairs while renovations were being done upstairs.

A couple days after I returned the DVD, I got an email from the library that read:

You returned the DVD “Walt Disney’s Classic Cartoon Starring Mickey” missing the DVD. Please return it by August the 2nd. The library will be closing for two weeks due to our move downstairs.

I immediately responded:

Thanks for the notice, but is it possible that the DVD somehow fell out in the return bin? I almost always double check the case before returning, and we do not have the disk here at our house, so I am concerned about this.

I am also concerned that another DVD we returned is still being listed as checked out on the online system. This DVD has the ISBN 1419829033. Can you also double check on this item for me, please? We try to be very diligent about keeping track of the items we check out, so I’m worried about these recent DVD problems.

Thanks in advance for your help in clearing this up.

They never responded to this. Therefore, I went up to the library once they opened, and thus started the Great Librarian War of 2008. Eventually, the first missing DVD got cleared up, but the library insisted I still had the Mickey Mouse DVD, even though I’d returned the case. The librarian I spoke to said they’d mark my account with a notice that I claimed to return the DVD, and she said that I wouldn’t have to worry about paying a fine.

But I didn’t believe her.

And I was right.

Then two weeks ago I went to check out some books, and suddenly I had a $20 charge on my account. They decided to charge me for the lost Mickey Mouse DVD THAT I’D ALREADY RETURNED.

One librarian told me it was impossible – IMPOSSIBLE – for them to have lost it. I actually said to her, “So the library is infallible in these matters?” She quickly responded, “Yes.”

The Pope and Librarians = Infallible. Remember that. It could cost you twenty bucks if you don’t.

All the way home from that trip to the library, I was fuming! Then I realized I just need to swallow my pride and deal with this, but I didn’t want to pay that $20.

So when I got home, I looked for the disc on eBay. Someone was selling it for $2, plus $3 shipping.

I bid. I won. I brought the DVD to the library, and yesterday I got this message:

I took the DVD off of your items checked out and forgave the bill. You have a clear card now – Library Circulation Desk.

Stupid Mickey Mouse DVD. But at least I can check out books again!

Oh, and all of these pictures? They’re from when I brought the DVD to the library. I wanted as much proof as possible that I provided a new copy of the DVD to the library, just in case the infallible librarian lost the DVD again.

About the author 


Greg is married to Jennifer. They've got five kids.

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  • Evidently you didn’t realize that I, too, amd infallible. I’ve never lost a student essay. Ever.

    By the way, I have some land in the Everglades that I’m selling for real cheap. Gimme a call and make a bid….

  • I am a high school librarian and I too try to tell my students that I am infallible. They don’t fall for it either 🙂
    Keep up the sense of humor!

  • A few weeks ago, we had the same problem with our library – but the fine was for over $32 in late fees, and they were going to charge me over $300 if the books were never found. But I did find them – on their shelves!

    Thus, my once held belief in the infallibility of the library was shattered forever… =)

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