Friday, August 22, 2008

Just One Late Book Away from the Hoosegow

Did you hear about the woman who was arrested for $30 in unpaid library fines?

Under a more unforgiving municipal regime, that certainly could have been me. I have this unfortunate tendency to a) check out a lot of books at one time (for the kids, but still) and b) forget when they're due.

I do get a receipt with all the due dates. And if I remember, I do check the status online and renew items if necessary.

But since my memory is a vessel that springs leaks with alarming alacrity, the fines accrue. Two days overdue isn't so bad. But if there are 20 books, at $.20 a day, lather, rinse, repeat every three weeks, well, it adds up.

I have found my savior: Library Elf! It's a service that sends you e-mail reminders of library items that are due. I've opted to receive my notices three days ahead of time. This allows me time to plan a trip to the library or renew if possible.

I haven't had a late fee since I signed up two months ago. If you are also an overdue-library-book recidivist, you might want to see if your library participates.

Now, about that borrowed Lyle Lyle Crocodile book that we lost six months ago...