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I had my parenting questioned by the librarian (funny)


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That is hilarious!

 

We often use my 6 year old ' s card and I was told by a librarian they couldn't tell me the books that were overdue without his permission because he has a right to decline me knowing what he checked out lol. I am sure she thought I was crazy by the number of times I asked "your kidding right?"

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I have to say I love the read away the fines program. We go one weekday with our schoolwork, sign in, do school, and poof... fines gone. My kids had $25 fines roughly each (long story). 2.5 hours later, all gone (except for my son, who was taking a class elsewhere.) $75 (and it would have been $100)....

 

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That said... please keep up with kids cards... My step-daughters, now adults fof a long time, could not get a library card for about 15 years because their Mom took out books that never got returned or fines paid. This was before reading away the fines and we couldn't afford the fines. The library didn't care that they were adult books (in another language yet!) that the girls obviously wouldn't have taken out. I think a year ago the library forgave all ancient fines so the one now has a card.

 

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Lol! That is both hilarious and insufferable all at once. You're gonna have to take that boy out for ice cream after he serves sentence.

 

And I am another who always pays online. But it's because my librarian sees me often and will almost always forgive a lot of the fines if I try to pay in person. I mean, it's very sweet, but it gives me a guilty conscience.

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Our library doesn't do fines for kids cards unless you actually lose the book.  They also don't let you borrow adult books on kid cards... except that when DS was 6 and started wanting chess books from the adult section and it wouldn't issue them, they overrode it (I may actually have said "do I *look* like these books are for me???").  It's handy because he now reads all over the adult nonfiction and selections of adult fiction too.  I admit there are a few that may have slipped onto his card that were certianly not for him... but no fines, how am I meant to resist?

 

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Just FYI: The cards for our county library are very adamantly "not transferable," meaning you are not allowed to use another person's card for any reason. This info is in the paperwork one signs to get a card in the first place, and the library takes that very seriously.

 

They also have a "three-strike" policy, under which they issue three warings regarding violations of library rules before banning you from the library for a year. Using another person's card does fall under those rules.

 

And, yes, they really do track violations in a system-wide database.

 

Plus, as someone else mentioned, any fines accrued on that card legally belong to your son and, if not paid, will go into collections and onto his credit history. (One of the reasons our library is so strict about knowing who is using the card.)

 

So, while I think the librarian was out of line making this a parenting issue and calling out your parenting, I would suggest you be careful about who uses which cards.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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Plus, as someone else mentioned, any fines accrued on that card legally belong to your son and, if not paid, will go into collections and onto his credit history. (One of the reasons our library is so strict about knowing who is using the card.)

 

 

Here, the parent is responsible for the fines and has to sign up for the library card. How do they enforce a contract with a minor?

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I've always thought the kids cards were linked with the parent's and that ultimately the parent would be responsible. Independent kids cards seems strange to me.

 

But we don't have any kids cards in our system.

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Funny! I was so sure the story was going to end with you propping a baby seat up on the counter and reading Goodnight, Moon to the baby and the librarian for 15 minutes.

 

I hope your ds takes it in stride.

Edited by SusanC
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Just FYI: The cards for our county library are very adamantly "not transferable," meaning you are not allowed to use another person's card for any reason. This info is in the paperwork one signs to get a card in the first place, and the library takes that very seriously.

 

They also have a "three-strike" policy, under which they issue three warings regarding violations of library rules before banning you from the library for a year. Using another person's card does fall under those rules.

 

And, yes, they really do track violations in a system-wide database.

 

Plus, as someone else mentioned, any fines accrued on that card legally belong to your son and, if not paid, will go into collections and onto his credit history. (One of the reasons our library is so strict about knowing who is using the card.)

 

So, while I think the librarian was out of line making this a parenting issue and calling out your parenting, I would suggest you be careful about who uses which cards.

Our library card policies are much more liberal.

 

If you have a card you have presumed permission to use that card, at least within a household--so, I can use my husband's card or any of the children's cards.

 

No overdue fines ever (new policy this year!)

 

You do have to pay for lost books.

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Yeah our library is SO not uptight about a household using each other's cards. Once I went to borrow (rent) a book and my card had a bunch of fines. I always pay my fines but couldn't on that day, so the librarian just checked my book out on my kid's card even though I didn't have that card on me. :) She could see the cards associated with my account on the computer and just picked a different one.

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It would be much harder to keep up with books if we each had to use our own library card.   I go to two library systems as it is.  

The big library I use has recently switched to a no fines system.  I don't think it will last long but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.   Books auto-renew and there is no fines, until someone else requests something you have.  Then it is due.  If anything is late, then auto-renewals stop.  If you have anything late, you can't checkout anything more.  Very handy for homeschoolers who checkout the less popular books.  

 

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Yeah our library is SO not uptight about a household using each other's cards. Once I went to borrow (rent) a book and my card had a bunch of fines. I always pay my fines but couldn't on that day, so the librarian just checked my book out on my kid's card even though I didn't have that card on me. :) She could see the cards associated with my account on the computer and just picked a different one.

 

While it's nice when libraries can be flexible to accommodate patrons, a more foundational principle is that library users have the right to privacy and confidentiality. For example, a husband does NOT have the right to know what books his wife has checked out. At our library, patrons can have a note added to their account saying, for example, "Husband John can pick up holds for Judith" or "Mom Helen is authorized on this account" but the default is no access.

 

With young children, the situation is a little different. But with adults and teenagers, we do try to be consistent. Even though it annoys patrons, we consider it an important protection of their privacy rights. Once we explain the reasoning, they are usually understanding.

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Yeah our library is SO not uptight about a household using each other's cards. Once I went to borrow (rent) a book and my card had a bunch of fines. I always pay my fines but couldn't on that day, so the librarian just checked my book out on my kid's card even though I didn't have that card on me. :) She could see the cards associated with my account on the computer and just picked a different one.

 

Yeah, our library doesn't care at all. 

 

I was once at the check out with an assortment of books when I hit my 100 book limit.  First the librarian suggested checking out the rest on my husband's card which I always carry.  His account had been deactivated though from lack of use.  The librarian said she couldn't reactivate it without my husband coming in, but she then suggested just creating an account in one of the kid's names to double our limit.  I had to co-sign on the card, so it is only nominally "theirs".  It is just another family card, and the library is totally fine with that.

 

Wendy

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That is funny but kinda nervy on the librarian's part.

 

I used to pay my daughter's fines because most of the time overdues were my fault.  After all, she could not drive herself to the library.  I think I did say that to a librarian once or twice.  

 

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While it's nice when libraries can be flexible to accommodate patrons, a more foundational principle is that library users have the right to privacy and confidentiality. For example, a husband does NOT have the right to know what books his wife has checked out. At our library, patrons can have a note added to their account saying, for example, "Husband John can pick up holds for Judith" or "Mom Helen is authorized on this account" but the default is no access.

 

I think we linked dh's and my card on our applications, so we're authorized users on each other's accounts. It was opt in, not opt out, so I think that's a useful policy for a library to have. Kids' (under 18) cards must have a legal adult sign as financially responsible so they're linked automatically. If you're on the hook to pay for the books, you have to have some way to check what's out. We do have a new system that lets you opt in to maintain your check out history. It's a bit like goodreads.com but just for the library. I like that idea too, but it must be opt in in order to protect privacy rights.

 

I have to respect our library's commitment to privacy. They put all their items in manila envelopes on the reserve shelf so that they're not visible and law enforcement can't make the argument that they're visible to the public. That's a lot of effort to preserve our right to not have our library records be public.

 

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While it's nice when libraries can be flexible to accommodate patrons, a more foundational principle is that library users have the right to privacy and confidentiality. For example, a husband does NOT have the right to know what books his wife has checked out. At our library, patrons can have a note added to their account saying, for example, "Husband John can pick up holds for Judith" or "Mom Helen is authorized on this account" but the default is no access.

 

With young children, the situation is a little different. But with adults and teenagers, we do try to be consistent. Even though it annoys patrons, we consider it an important protection of their privacy rights. Once we explain the reasoning, they are usually understanding.

 

I can't imagine considering this an important privacy concern among users on the same account.

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While it's nice when libraries can be flexible to accommodate patrons, a more foundational principle is that library users have the right to privacy and confidentiality. For example, a husband does NOT have the right to know what books his wife has checked out. At our library, patrons can have a note added to their account saying, for example, "Husband John can pick up holds for Judith" or "Mom Helen is authorized on this account" but the default is no access.

 

With young children, the situation is a little different. But with adults and teenagers, we do try to be consistent. Even though it annoys patrons, we consider it an important protection of their privacy rights. Once we explain the reasoning, they are usually understanding.

 

I understand this. 

 

I would have liked the option for a family account with multiple cards when my kids were younger, or having the option to give another family member access. Sometimes my husband would take our kids to the library but if I didn't remember to give him my card (or wasn't home when he was heading out to the library and had the card with me, whatever), he could not pick up my holds.  The libraries I have used did not have a way to authorize users as you describe above; that would have made a huge difference for us!  Still, we always managed to use the library extensively so it all worked out.

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My husband unintentionally racked up $75 in fines in the SJ library system a decade ago and they didn’t have the read to clear fines program then. Last year, we were at SJSU library while oldest boy was at math camp. They issued us new cards because our old records were purged.

 

As for library fines, my kids are usually with me at the library so they just hand over the money and their card. My local library sees us almost every day so they would just take the money from the parents.

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They don’t offer a read away the fines option here, or really any reduction, amnesty, or grace. You pay your fines or they put out a warrant for your arrest. I don’t know what the threshold is for that as I think the most we’ve owed is $2 and I pay promptly. I would hope it was a significant amount of money and I’ve bern chided by other posters in the past for saying so, but I think it’s wrong.

 

They used to charge ten cents a day, but they joined another library system and raised fines a quarter. I have a twenty-five cent fine on my account right now so my account status is listed as “delinquent,†but I can still check out books. They do let me use and manage all of the cards for our family so I guess that’s something.

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The libraries I use have gone to self-checkout machines. So I could use any card I happen to have on me. Of course, now that is only my own...everyone else carries their own card. How would a machine know who is checking things out?

 

Email reminders and online renewal are the best! I haven't had an overdue book in probably 3 years.

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I can't imagine considering this an important privacy concern among users on the same account.

 

Your library may work differently from mine. At our library, each account is for one user only, though as I said earlier, patrons can choose to give permission to others to use their account. But we definitely believe that each user has a right to privacy, even from others in the same household. (Again, it's a little different for parents with respect to young children.)

 

The libraries I use have gone to self-checkout machines. So I could use any card I happen to have on me. Of course, now that is only my own...everyone else carries their own card. How would a machine know who is checking things out?

 

At our library, if you are in possession of someone else's card, then they have implicitly given you permission to use their account (check out items, look up what they have out, pick up holds, etc.).

 

I'll shut up now about my library's policies. I'm sure nobody else cares. :lol:

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I find the variety of policies interesting.

 

I like those that encourage library use, especially promoting accessibility for low income folks. This was the reasoning behind the no late fees policy here. That, and research showing that late fees don't actually result in more timely returns on average.

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It would be much harder to keep up with books if we each had to use our own library card.   I go to two library systems as it is.  

The big library I use has recently switched to a no fines system.  I don't think it will last long but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.   Books auto-renew and there is no fines, until someone else requests something you have.  Then it is due.  If anything is late, then auto-renewals stop.  If you have anything late, you can't checkout anything more.  Very handy for homeschoolers who checkout the less popular books.  

 

Our library has been no fine for books for 4 years now.  DVDs acrue fines.

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I wish our library would institute Read Away the Fines. DD currently owes like $40 and her card is frozen, all her own fault. As it is, I intend to make her use her allowance to buy water once they start the summer Water for Fines program--they take off $1/bottle, up to $25. In the fall they do Food for Fines, 1 canned item = $1 off fines. 

 

I would love for her to have to read the fine away, though!

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Here, the parent is responsible for the fines and has to sign up for the library card. How do they enforce a contract with a minor?

They can’t. At our library, kids can get their own cards and accrue fines. They can’t checkout with fines over $10. Juvenile accounts never go to collections, and parents are not responsible for the fines either.

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The only time I mind library fines is if I don't have money on me.  I consider them reminders to donate.  

 

I am surprised at the # of families that don't have library cards for the kids, though.  DD has one, not because she actually checks out books with it, but because (in my family) it was a rite of passage.   "Now that you are a Reader, you get a library card!"   I fondly remember when I got one, and when DD got one.   We did use hers for Hoopla when we were on the Boxcar audio kick.   We went through a lot more than 5 a month.  

 

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