This is an interesting piece. Everybody hates paying library fines, but they’re really only half-meant to encourage people to return their items on time. Library fines have become a much-needed part of the budget, especially since many public libraries face funding challenges nowadays.
It’s nice that Deirdre Healey doesn’t express anger over her fines–she’s a little rueful over how much she has to pay for a service that is nominally ‘free’ (paid for by taxes), but she also acknowledges that it’s her own fault for not returning things sooner, and that she’s just not that organized a person. One thing that she doesn’t mention though, when you take it down to a dollar-and-cents issue, is how much money she has saved by not having to buy 70+ books and DVDs for her children per month or however often they go. Fines are still usually less than having to buy so many items new, or even used. It’s wonderful that she supports her children reading and takes them to the library so often–maybe they just need to go a little more often to solve that late fee problem!
This is a cute little opinion piece about something that probably irritates a lot of people, but Healey tackled it with wit and a laugh and a desire to find out just what the fines are used for. (Hint: it’s not so librarians can have a gold-plated break room.)