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intheflow

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Colopolis
Home country: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 9, 2004, 01:39 PM
Number of posts: 24,676

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My favorite lost library book story:

I work at a public library. A few years ago, I was boxing up donated books when I came across a deleted library book from the '60s or '70s. It was an art book, not a style that would appeal to my tastes, but a kind of coffee table tome. I was mostly interested in the old library markings flashing me back to my childhood: date stamps from actual rubber stamps! An old library logo!

As I was looking through it, the lead librarian walked by and saw me. She told me a woman had returned it a few days before, 30 years late. The woman was sincerely apologetic, wanted to pay whatever late fees were due, but explained (somewhat sheepishly) that she was a retired art teacher who had just loved the book too dearly to ever return it before. Now, moving into an assisted living situation and downsizing her home, she decided it was time to make amends and clear her good name.

The librarian listened to her story. Instead of chiding her in any way, or demanding exorbitant fines, she invited the woman to pay her dues to society instead by offering a free art class for the library's adult enrichment programming. The woman happily and gratefully agreed.

It was the perfect solution. A retiree is given an opportunity to serve her community, to again be of use, and to clean one "sin" off her slate. The community got a free art class through their library. I will always remember and admire that librarian's wisdom and grace in this instance.
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