Price Check in Fiction

I tell everyone that the Library is a great resource for the rich, the poor and the people in the middle. I’ve been poor and in the middle but not rich, but I’m sure that rich people can use the Library too.

When I lived in Salt Lake they had just remodeled the Downtown Library. And let me tell you, it was impressive! It was like 6 stories high, self-check outs as well as stand-in-line check outs, a great music and movie section and so much more! It really was a great resource. We loved it. When I moved to Las Vegas, I missed it like I miss friends in Texas. I still have my card (with no fines of course) and I refuse to throw it out. Maybe one day while visiting SLC I can go and check out a book on candles, the history of television, or a great movie. I can’t do that if I throw out my card. So to keep the tradition of going to the Library a few times a week, I got a card here.

It’s so different here. The branch by me is very small and smelly. Probably because it is so hot here. The outside drop-off bins only take books. All others will melt. There is a security guard posted at the main door. And the lines are always long. However, I can still reserve items online and then I get an e-mail when they are ready. SLC did that too! So there is still hope.

This week I was picking up Season 5 of the Sopranos. Good timing too because it was a long weekend and I had time. So I was standing in line, following the sign that said to be patient, yes, I was patient. I was also noticing how very familiar standing in line at the Library and standing in line at the grocery store are the same. For example:

The lines are long: No matter what line you get in at the grocery store, it seems to be the longest. Well at this library, there is only one line, and it’s always long.

You use a card to pay/checkout: Unless you are still using checks or cash (I don’t think I remember what cash looks like) you are using a card. Same at the Library. Unless you have a fine so you will have to use your checkbook or pay it with cash.

Kids are running wild: Remember when you had to be quiet at the Library? I do. How come today’s kids don’t? They are running around picking up every bright colored book asking if they can check it out. Half the time, not even noticing Fabio on the cover with a woman in a bikini on a mountain top. “Please, it looks funny!” At the grocery store, they put candy and goodies at the check out stand so parents can have one last struggle with their kids. And by this point in the shopping experience, they are worn down, so the kids get their treats, atlast! At the Library, while I was waiting patiently, more so than the kids infront of me, they have a wall that has comics on it. It’s also has a sign that says “Check me out!” It’s not candy but it’s the same concept.

Fines are just as much as frozen corndogs: If you play it right, you will never owe anything to the Library. That can be a great thing. But if you are lazy and really bad with dates, then you might owing the Library more than you expected. From my day at Friendswood Public Library where I did get a fine of $.10 for missing two days, to paying $1.00 for missing 2 days. It’s a sad day when your fine will be bigger than the price of the book. Don’t let it happen to you.

See, the Library is just like the grocery store. Oh snap, Sopranos Season 5 is due soon. I better get moving or else I might have to take back my frozen corndogs to pay my fine.

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