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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Overdue Fines

If you're a reader, as my mother would say, "whose eyes are bigger than his stomach," than borrowing books can result in fines. If you borrow too many you never finish them all in time, and, a few always seem to fall under the car seat. Some are always bound to be returned late.

Our five cents a day fee isn't much of a penalty if you ask me! Last week I read an article about two books that George Washington had borrowed and neglected to return to the New York Society Library back in 1789. It has been estimated that the fines due would be $300,000! Now that would qualify as a penalty!

This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson [020.23 JOH], is a timely book, that despite its title, has little to do with overdue materials! The publisher tells us that Johnson profiles:
pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.

Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us—neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled—can get along without human help.
So, although the book isn't about books that are returned late, it still fits the meaning of "overdue" as something that should have occurred before now. The acknowledgment and recognition of librarians is long overdue, and I'm glad someone accepted the challenge. (Can you tell I'm a librarian?)

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