Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Provo Library nastygram

We've had a lot of nastygrams lately. I think all the tasks involved in moving and traveling tend to bring them on. Here's a good one that's not too nasty, and it even has a happy ending.

The back story: I checked out a book from the Provo Library. Miriam, who knows better, colored on a couple of pages with green crayon. I returned the book and got slapped with a fine of almost $30. Yikes! So I busted out this nastygram during quiet time one afternoon last week. It's not my best work, but as you'll see, it got the job done.

Hello,

I have a question about a fine on my Provo library card. Looking online, I see that I owe $27.15. I think this might be from a book that my daughter colored a little bit on. Of course I want to pay if I really owe for the damages, but I'm wondering if it would be possible for the fine to be waived just this once.

We just moved to Provo from a city where the library did not issue fines for minor damage that does not interfere with the general readability of a book
[the truth is that I have never known TPPL to issue a fine, ever, except for a lost item]. I know I should have paid more attention to where my daughter was coloring, but for a few moments she got a hold of my book and colored on a few pages. However, the coloring is totally see-through and most of it is actually on the back inside cover of the book, where there is a map that is unreadable anyway because of the taped-on library jacket.

I realize the library wants us to take responsibility for the materials we check out, but I have to say I am surprised to be fined this much money. We checked out six or seven DVDs during the last month or two and I think all but one of them were too scratched to function properly. This experience, combined with our previous library's policy, led me to believe that a little accidental coloring that did not affect the readability of a book would be excused.

Please let me know if you'd be able to make an exception just this once.


As you can see, I took the penitent supplicant tack on this one. I knew I was in the wrong but I begged for mercy, especially since I knew it was not an entirely unreasonable request. Here's the response I received yesterday:

Thank you for your email. I have looked at the book and decided in your favor. The green crayon is on the top and 3 pages, 2 of them front and back maps. I have spoken with my staff member who assess the damages and we agreed to only charge $3.00 for minor damage.

Success! Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.

7 comments:

JackJen said...

Ugh.

I have major issues with the Provo Public Library. ESPECIALLY with their DVD section. Ever notice how they have approximately 5 million DVD's in their catalog (and actual, hard-copy binder next to the stacks), but there are never more than 10% of them actually checked in? They tell me it's because they allow DVD's to be checked out for the same length as books...so people watch a movie and keep it for 3 weeks.

DROVE. ME. NUTS.

Sorry. /rant.

I'm sort of wondering what they're going to do with that $3.

Fromagette said...

Seriously, $30 for some coloring? Anna tore one of the pages in a book we had checked out for her, and when we handed it to the librarian and explained, she thanked us for not taping it ourselves so that they could use their special tape. End of story.

Jen, we have a similar issue with our DVDS at our library. However, I sometimes get lucky and find great movies without having to request them.

Laura said...

I am surprised that they would even charge $30 for coloring on 3 pages. I am glad that they changed the charge for you. A $3 charge seems to fit the deed a little better.

EmmySue said...

I have always wondered how they can charge that much for a fine when the book more than likley didn't even cost that much to purchase in the first place. I think they should only charge as much as it would cost to replace and then let you keep the "damaged" book if it was really that bad. Gotta love those fines! Glad you were able to resolve.

Amanda said...

This doesn't really have to do with this post, but reading about the Provo Library reminded me...What was so great about their storytime? As a previous PCPL (formerly known as TPPL) employee and future wanna be children's librarian, I would love to know how to make storytime great. Thanks!

PS- Are you really reading our book club books still? I didn't quite make it through Taming of the Shrew and don't know if I want to stomach another Jane Austen next month!

Chad :) said...

Dear Bridgette Peterson,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding the damage caused to the communities' book due to the negligent supervision of your child. We appreciate your willingness to pay for the damage that you are responsible for, your parents raised you well.

While we understand that you are new to the area and your previous city of residence did not have a problem making the entire community pay for 1 individuals mistakes, here in Provo, home of Brigham Young University, we expect more of our library patrons. If you would like I could send you a copy of the library rules and corresponding fines.

While as a mother you may not mind reading a book with coloring in it, we have many patrons that prefer to read all the words in a book, particularly the end, which tends to be an important part.

I have reviewed your check out history and the DVDs that you borrowed, upon further review you were correct in that the DVDs were returned with scratches. There were actually 5 DVDs with corresponding charges of $11 each.

Once again, I appreciate your understanding and honesty. Your account balance will now reflect $82.15. Payment is due in 30 days, after that interest will be charged at 18.7% APR. We do accept American Express, and I have been told you have an impecable record.

Chad Ensign

Bridget said...

Chad, that was good. TOO good. You scared me at first (it would have been scarier except your wife tipped me off ahead of time).

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