Saturday, June 01, 2013

At the library

I had been wondering of late why we never seem to see very low-income children at the library.  Then, last week, there was an older black woman in there with a couple of kids and a big stack of books.  At the check-out, she was told that she couldn't check any more out because she had $29.70 in fines outstanding. So she said to the kids "we'll have to come back another day" and they walked away.

That's a tough one.  Part of me wanted to slap down 30 bucks and get her kids the books. Part of me wondered if they would have hassled me over the same thing.  I know they don't always force me to pay fines then and there, but maybe there's a break point in terms of dollars or time where they do. But part of me thought, here's something the state makes available for free, one should be able to manage that. I know it's likely she doesn't get email reminders, she might even have been going on her daughter's card (she looked like the grandmother).  I dunno.

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