Ethics and Easy Credit: Available at a Library Near You!

Just a few brief but delicious stories for you today. Sometimes the little things that make us giggle or role our eyes at work are the stories we find ourselves talking about the most. We thought such stories deserved a few moments in the Merry spotlight!

ethics of freedomSomeone had ripped the innards out of the book “The Ethics of Freedom,” and left with it. Its empty cover now sits on my desk.

Sad Irony.

Sent in from “Jolene” along with the picture of the abandoned book cover…

Today I assisted a 60 year old woman, who had recently moved to town from Hawaii, in getting a library card with our district. When I handed her the new card, she said, “What are the benefits that come with this card?”

It struck me as unusual phrasing, but I figured she was referring to general usage: i.e., where she could use the card, how many items she could check out, etc. So I told her and then helped her locate two CDs she wanted. Once I’d checked them out to her, I handed her the receipt and reminded her the items were due in one week.

“Due?” she said, incredulous. “What do you mean due?”

Her sudden attitude surprised me. “Um, well, media material checks out for one week. It may be possible to renew them at that time, though.”

“I don’t want to return them! Why would you make me return them? I’m not going to return them! I want them!”

She was getting a little angry now, so I tried a new tactic, thinking that perhaps this woman didn’t realize she was in a library. “Sorry for the confusion, ma’am. Because these CDs are library property, you are able to borrow them for one week, free of charge. If you choose to keep them, our billing department will contact you and charge you for the price of the items.”

She stared at me for a moment and then shoved the CDs and library card toward me again. “Then I don’t want them. I thought they were going on the card.”

As she stormed off, I realized that her initial question, “What are the benefits that come with this card?”, should have been my tip-off. She thought that the library was issuing her a credit card based solely on seeing her photo ID and proof of address. If I didn’t personally know a librarian in Hawaii, I would have to question how the island library system works…and maybe get myself a Hawaiian library card! 🙂


Submit your stories to us at or phone them in: (216) 23M-ERRY (216-236-3779)

Attention, Australian readers! We still need one or two more stories from your neck-o-the-woods to complete our “Librarians of the World” month in March. Send in your crazy tales from Down Under today!

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