That’s me.

I took Kostyn back to the library’s lapsit program this morning, against my better judgment because I’ve been dealing with constant mild nausea for a week now. But our area rarely has anything interesting for kids his age, and I thought I should make the effort. So I packed snacks for both him and I, drinks for both him and I, and drove the 30 minutes to the library. (The one in our town doesn’t have the program. Slackers.)

By the time we were done with the 45-minute program, another 15 minutes of finding five small board books to check out, plus the 5 minutes it took Kostyn to walk back to our car, I was lightheaded and feeling pukey. Juggling my keys, purse, toddler and books, and trying bravely not to retch right in front of the Children’s Room windows, I set the books on the roof of the Element (you can see where I’m going with this...), opened the car, got the baby strapped into his seat, scarfed down a chocolate Pop-Tart and fed KO some Cheerios.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the books were not in the car. I frantically called the library, apologizing and explaining what had happened (leaving out the pukey part). The woman gasped something like “Oh, no!” as if the potential loss of these five little bedtime books were going to force the closure of not only the lapsit program but the entire Children’s Room. She said she’d ask if anyone had turned in any stray books. I told her exactly where I’d parked my car and asked if someone could go take a look outside.

She called me back an hour later saying nobody had turned in the books, and she’d sent an intern out to check the premises and he’d come back empty-handed.

I said, “Oh, I am so sorry. What do I need to do if they’re not found?”

She replied, “Oh, I hope they’re found. Because it’s a $20 fee for every book you lose, plus a $5 processing fee per book.” (Which my husband later informed me had just gone up to $7, according to a story they’d recently run in the newspaper.)

I said, “Twenty-five dollars for one little five-page board book?!”

She said she was sorry (with a little too much sympathy in her voice, if you ask me) but that was the rule.

So for five little books lost, that’s at least $125 ($135 if Chris is correct). I looked up just one of the books tonight on Amazon and it’s $5.99 brand new, or I could buy it used (which, remember is the condition of the ones I lost) for as cheap as 1 cent (plus shipping).

You know I’m gonna be fighting this one.


Tara said...

Did you backtrack? Can you? It's probable that they're lying along the side of the road the first place you hit a bump or a turn in the road.

I say this because I once lost my PDA the same way, and it was 1/4 mile down the road in the weeds. I got it back, fortunately, after a whole lot of panic.

Go look. Or send Chris to look. Just not now, 'cause you won't see them anyway.

Carol said...

Tara's idea is a good one, but if the library is halfway reasonable, they should let you bring in replacement books from Amazon, and maybe charge you the processing fee for the labor involved with barcoding them.

(Interesting that they have a flat $20 per book rate instead of charging actual retail price, since MANY books probably cost a lot more than that)

Robyn said...

So far none have shown up, and I drove by over the weekend and didn't see any books by the side of the road.
I'll have to call the librarian tomorrow and broker a deal. What a dumbass I am.