Monday, November 17, 2008

What has the world come to?

So I decided to take the time to check out my local library while I was out running the roads this weekend. I like my local library. In fact, I love all libraries. The library is one of the only 2 places where I have actually worked that I would return to with an invitation (#2. LifeWay Christian Store. They have books there, too. It's a theme in my life.) The Saline County Library is fairly respectable, even compared to the more metropolitan (right) liberries in Little Rock. Lots of stuff going on. I picked out a couple (more about that later) and went to check out with a clear and happy conscience for, although I am a book loser, I have paid my debt to society and have a clear record. For now.

And the older guy who checked me out said "That's perfect. Now just look into the camera." Thank goodness the camera didn't snap at the moment because the gape wouldn't have been good for my permanent record. While he's working with the newfangled contraption of the tiny web cam thingy, I say "What's the picture for?"
And he says, "We're going to keep it on record. That way, it will be harder to steal your library card and use it without your permission." OK, I nod. I give my best "driver's license don't know what I'm actually staring at or when they're going to snap the picture" nervous grin. Take my books. And go.

But I have been puzzling a little over the entire exchange since then.
1. Is there really an epidemic of people stealing library cards?
2. Aren't those things free of charge?
3. Do I now have to worry about identity theft of my library persona too?
4. What is this world coming to?
5. Thank goodness for the older dude with the web cam. Really, I am glad to have somebody keeping an eye out for unauthorized checking out of stuff on my library account. I need all the help I can get.


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, library cards aren't always free. My babysitter lives in a part of town that's technically unincorporated, even though they get all water, sewage, garbage, emergency and postal services through the town. The library doesn't get a cut of their property taxes like they do from mine.... so they're considered non-resident cardholders at a cost of $200 per card per year. I didn't realize they were considered unincorporated, much less that they were considered non-resident, until about a year ago when her daughter made a comment to my daughter about how lucky my daughter was to have a library card. Personally I think it completely stinks.

Mundane Jane said...

I'm not through thinking about this yet, but when I am, it's entirely possible that I'm not going to like this whole picture ID for library books idea very much.

I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I have never lived anywhere in my live (at least not for any reasonable length of time)that I did not have a library card, with full benefits. Then there was Port Arthur, Texas. There's no charge, but it was easier and quicker to get my Texas drivers license. I'm still working on the LC. Apparently, they're very concerned that non-tax-paying people might actually be interested in sponging on the rights of residents and read books dedicated to the use and enjoyment of that elite group. I'm still simmering, I argued, cajoled, pled, offered blood.........I'm still not a "tax-paying" resident. I've never been so completely and utterly frustrated in my life......well, not since LA at least!