Imagine my surprise when Ari set his books down at the library’s self-checkout kiosk and we learned his account was suspended because of a fine. And not just a $.50 fine. It was a fine for $7.20!
Soon after Ari got his library card, I noticed he wasn’t as on-top of his borrowed books like Isabelle is. Isabelle or I would notice when a book was here for a while and we’d return it. However, I didn’t realize how tardy he was with his books until he found a book on Somalia in the back seat of the car that I thought had been long returned.
That was a couple of weeks ago. After finding Somalia, Isabelle helped me scour the house for any additional books he had borrowed. The next time we went to the library she dropped whatever she found of his into the book return along with hers returns. I didn’t give it any more thought… until today.
I did the talking once we approached the circulation desk. It seemed Ari had three outstanding books. At 20 cents per day for children’s books (with a maximum fine of $3 per item), Ari had accumulated a $7.20 fine since all of the books were 12 days overdue!
“I’m going to pay the fine for you now, but you’re going to need to pay me back when we get home,” I told him.
I expected Ari to cry since he works hard to earn his allowance each week. Instead he said, “Okay.”
The librarian couldn’t have been nicer about his first fine. She didn’t admonish Ari. She did offer him a printed receipt for the new titles he borrowed. She also gave him an oral reminder of the due date.
Sure enough, Ari repaid me with a five, two ones, and two dimes. I’m sure this stung, but I am quite certain he learned a valuable lesson at the tender age of five-and-a-half.