Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Losing it at the Library...

Let me back up a bit...We go to the library at least once a week and check out approximately 15-20 books at a time. Yesterday Brooke and I were on our way to the library to return books after leaving preschool when I received a phone call from Brayden's school informing me that he had an "accident" and needed a change of clothes or to be picked up. It was 25 minutes before the end of his school day, so I turned the car around and decided we would just pick him up and go home. Upon arriving to the school, I get Brooke out of her seat and notice that she has spilled my 32 ounce FULL bottle of water into the library book bag. There were 17 books in the bag and each one of the books was damaged/drenched in water that had puddled into the bottom of the bag. My heart dropped during one of those moments when you say to yourself "please tell me this did not just happen!" And Brooke says "Sorry about that Mom!"

When we arrived home, I propped and aired out all 17 books on the kitchen table. I took out my blowdryer to dry some of the books where pages were stuck together and tried my best to "undo" some of the damage.

As I was just about to put Brooke down for a nap today, I received another phone call from Brayden's school informing me that there had been yet another "accident" and I needed to bring him a change of clothes. I was not happy about this. This has become an increasingly ongoing problem that has just recently been discovered by his teachers over the past two days (usually he just comes off the school bus wet). I purposely do not include a change of clothes in his backpack, because I know he would continue to have accidents with the knowledge that he could just change his clothes and move on. And, chances are he would come home from school and his change of clothes would be soiled as well. Darcy and I have been trying different approaches with this problem and are at a complete loss. It just started a couple of months ago and there hasn't been any change in our schedules, nothing traumatic has happened, etc. It doesn't seem to bother Brayden (maybe it will now that others at school are noticing) We just make him shower and wash his clothes, take privileges away, offer incentives, pray with and for him, and continue to express our disappointment.

So, now that I have set the stage with this tidbit of info, one may understand my "more fragile than normal" emotional state when Brooke and I proceeded to go the library today from Brayden's school to explain our book debacle and to plead for mercy upon revealing and returning our water-logged books. After trying to let (make) Brooke explain what happened, the head librarian and I went through each book and she just kept shaking her head repeatedly saying "this one is going to have to be withdrawn..." After a long time waiting, she came back to us and stated that most of the 17 books would have to be withdrawn from the shelves. Which means they are considered damaged and are no longer usable.

So, I ask her, "what does this mean?" And she responds, "it means you are responsible for paying for these books." And I ask "well, how much is this going to cost?" (thinking there may be a flat fee or a "break" for us or something, considering it was an accident by a 3 year old and we are regulars who haven't had a problem in the past). And she responds "You are responsible for the price of each book and they run around $16-17 a piece." At this point, the flood gates open and in my weakened emotional state I began to cry. Yes, a grown woman losing it at the library! 17 books, $16-17 a do the math. So, I ask her exactly how much I will owe...she leaves and returns about 10-15 minutes later (yes, I stood there crying the whole time) and tells me that I am responsible for 11 books, totalling $149.00! It just seemed to be the icing on the cake. Defeated, we again apologize and turn and walk away.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you just can't win? Today was mine.


  1. That is CRAZY!!!!!! One - those books were probably donated in the first place. Two - they probably have multiple copies of them. And, Three - unless they were "hot off the press" they have probably been sitting there a while!

    Sounds like the librarian wasn't having such a hot day herself!

    I am soooooo sorry that you are having to go through this. I wish I had some words of wisdom for Brayden's situation. All I know is I once had a kid in my class in a similar situation and his parents brought him some extras that were less than desirable (very embarrasing to wear) and the problem stopped as easily as it began. I do not recommend public humiliation at all, I'm just saying it worked.

    I will be praying for all of you!


  2. Oh Amanda, I am so sorry! I can't believe that they wouldn't cut you a break! Take heart, tomorrow is another day and you get to start anew!

  3. Oh Amanda - I cannot believe that!! They should not charge you that much for each and every book. I would go back in and request to speak to a supervisor, and ask if you could instead donate books to replace the damaged ones. Sure they won't be the same ones, but like beckyjomama said they probably have multiple copies. Even offer to donate two books per damaged book. I have tons of books and so does my mom (new ones!) I will donate them all for you if need be!! You should NOT have to pay that much, it is RIDICULOUS!!

    I am sorry - what a horrible day!

    Love you! I will include you in my prayers tonight!


  4. Hugs!! What a rough day.

    Add me to the outraged over the library's response. Ask for a supervisor and see what can be worked out. Seriously- they should let you donate books in place of paying for them. I have boxs of like new books and I'll happily donate them. Do you have a list of the damaged books? Post it on your blog and maybe someone has them to donate.

  5. Oh my, that beats any bad meltdown tantrum day that I have had at the library. By the way, I am glad to know that we are not the only ones who check out our full limit in books. :) Reading is great!

    Would they let you buy the books yourself from Amazon or something like that to replace them? What is it with librarians anyway..why are they so crabby? I can honestly say that I have had many a run in with crabby snobby librarians than cheerful helpful ones. Hope nobody reading this is a librarian and if you are I hope you are cheerful one. Anyway, I am so sorry to hear about the craziness you have had...yikes!

    I hope things only get better from here.

    I will be sure to keep our full library basket away from liquids after this story.

  6. Bless your heart! I am so sorry to hear that in these difficult times people aren't willing to give some "breaks" and be a little more understanding. I think if I were in your shoes I would have lost it at the Library, then come home, told my husband and encourage him to call and "yell" at them! Not that that would have done any good, but I sure am good at asking help me out and be the assertive one.
    As for Brayden...hmmm. He may be feeling anxious about something. This is when my therapist side comes out. (can't help it!) Do you think he is at all anxious over you being pregnant and he may not even know it? Did this start after you got pregnant? Just a thought. It may be his way of still getting attention and not growing up too fast. Best of luck with that situation.