Why do people get mad when they are told that they owe a fine on late material? Why do they feel it is necessary to throw books at the bearer of the bad news that there are fines on their record? Do they think that this is appropriate behavior? How would they like it if we went into their place of business, and let’s say that they work at the front desk of a doctor’s office or a fast food restaurant, and they told us that we owed money and we started throwing things at them?
This is ridiculous behavior and I will not tolerate it. The people at the front desk are only doing their job. They are following the rules, policies and procedures that are set forth by the library’s board of trustees. You are not intimidating us when you say you will have our job because you know people on the board. Our response is to please the board — these are its rules that we are abiding by.
Our budget is what it is and we have to do the best we can with what we have. If we have to collect fines on your books that are two weeks late, that money goes back into our budget so that we can purchase things that we need. If you lose a library book and have to pay for a replacement, that is exactly where that money goes — to a new copy of the book that you lost. People, we aren’t making money, believe me. We have to charge for copies so that we can purchase more paper for you to make more copies. We have to charge for ear buds so that we can purchase more ear buds. We charge you what it costs the library.
Libraries have learned to do a lot with very little. We continue to provide free Internet service to the public. We continue to provide free check-outs of videos. We continue to provide free check-outs of books and magazines, and use of newspapers and reference materials. We are offering adult, teens and children programs throughout the week and will be soon adding free computer classes to train the public on how to use computers, navigate the Internet, use search engines, and give basic knowledge of office software such as Word and Excel. So please, don’t throw stuff at the staff. They are working hard for you.
Speaking of teen programs, Bill has Teen Band Night from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Osterneck Auditorium. This is for teens from ages 13 to 18. Come by and listen to some local teens play their music. Bill always has food and refreshments. Should be fun.
I would like to thank the following people for donating items to the library: Joseph Burke, Jerry Vendrick, Gail McLean, and Henry McDuffie. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.
— Tina Stepp is the director at the Robeson County Public Library and can be reached at 738-4859 or email@example.com.