Can I renew my books?

October 8, 2007


Working in a library I hear this question many times in a day. This may not be the same kind of renewal that many will write about on the Island but it was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the prompt. For those of you that have not used the public library in awhile (shame on you^-^ ) it is possible to re-check out an item as long as no one is waiting for it. In my library system you can do this up to five times–which means that you can have a book for up to 18 weeks! We used to allow for unlimited renewals but we started to notice that some people were renewing continuously and had items out for years. When we changed the rule there were many folks who had to cough up some dough to clear their records. Although it had been renewed in the system many times the item was no longer in the possession of the patron. Talk about due diligence to avoid the inevitable!

I’m sure no one out there has ever exhibited behavior like this but…if you want to share…please do!


17 Responses to “Can I renew my books?”

  1. Becca Says:

    I use my library all the time, and yes, I renew frequently, especially since I can do it on line.

    I often renew books because I haven’t finished them (of course), but sometimes because I’ve gone back to the library and gotten more books, and just want everything to be due on the same day!

    Nice take on this prompt, and I certainly understand why it was the first thing that came to mind for you!

  2. paisley Says:

    you are so right… i need to get my feet wet once again in my local public library… thanks for the nudge…..

  3. Jo Says:

    How I laughed at this…such cunning minds out there, constantly renewing to avoid the fine!

  4. In our school library, teachers do it!! They issue books and do not return for years!!

    Can I borrow a few books from your library?!


  5. Yeah for local libraries. They don’t get enough support from the public. They are essential for the growth of readers everywhere.



  6. Matthew Says:

    Becca, I’m so glad you use your library! We have had to train customers out of the habit of renewing to make them all the same date since we only allow a certain number of renewals. Whatever works though!

    paisley-yes you should stop in and see what is going on in your library, you never know what you might find.

    Jo-you’d be amazed the systems people use to outwit a library fine.

    gautami-what I have is yours 🙂 I hear the same about teachers that sometimes they are the problem patrons who abuse the system.

    Rose-thanks for stopping by–you are so right, the amount of books in my library being checked out is on the rise and so many of those books are taken out for or by learning readers.

  7. clary Says:

    Five times? You are fortunate in your area, I can only renew once and then I have to wait at least a week to recheck it. That’s one of the reasons I hardly ever check out fiction, because it takes me a long time to read them and if I have to wait a week in between I’ll forget what I read.

    I use the library frequently and encourage my kids to do the same.

  8. Matthew Says:

    Yes Clary we are fortunate, five times is an incredible gift. The bestellers of course can’t be renewed until the demand has stopped. I’m glad you and your kids use the library–its a great resource:)

  9. deb Says:

    “due diligence to avoid the inevitable” is a classic line. Fabulous. It speaks to human nature.

    I also thought of book renewals when I read the prompt. And magazines. You might peak at my response. Or not 🙂

    I go back and forth with my library usage. I like to color in the margins, and librarians don’t usually like that. But I am so book hungry it pleases my husband when I borrow rather than buy.

  10. awareness Says:

    Hey Matthew…..I have personally checked out a book from the library for a very long time……probably twenty years I think. I get them home delivered by my very own Library messenger… husband! 🙂 And when you know someone in the right place, well, one never worries about renewals!

  11. Tumblewords Says:

    Libraries are a place to rest, renew and recoup. Nice take on the prompt!

  12. Matthew Says:

    deb-yeah we don’t really like coloring in the margins. If you do it in pencil we may just erase it and not charge…but probably best to buy those that yearn for a good marking. Yes I’ll come check out your take on the prompt.

  13. Mary T. Says:

    I use our libraries all the time. I love not having to pay for books that I get to use.

  14. Kimberley Says:

    Libraries and bookstores are my favorite places in this world – so librarians are at the top of my list of awesome people you should never piss off! 🙂

    I love that my library is within walking distance.

    I tried working in a bookstore once —– but I literally could not hold on to my paycheck!

    Happy reading!

  15. Matthew Says:

    Hi awareness, yes my wife receives the same gift. A quick phone call or email and she has the reading or listening material by her side. You both are some lucky gals!

    Thanks Tumblewords, I agree although the more I work in a library the more I forget about the resting, renewing and recouping. That is why whenever I go on vacation I head to the library to remember what it is like to be a patron again.

    Mary-I’m so glad you use the library, I too have read many a book for free compliments of the library.

    Yeah Kimberly! My closest library (not the one I work at) is a short bike ride away. I understand about working in such close proximity to books and them finding there way into your hands. One of the “pitfalls” of the job. 🙂

  16. Timothy Says:

    I absolutely love the library. I work in Los Angeles, right across from the central library…and I can put books on hold from the internet…

    I literally log on, put the item on hold, I get an e-mail when it’s in, walk across the street, check it out – I can renew 3 times (at 3 weeks a pop) online, and read my books while I take the train in and out of the city.

    I will never buy another book!

    The only downside is the popular fiction section, where new books can only be checked out a week at a time.

  17. Matthew Says:

    Great to hear Timothy. Libraries do make it very easy to get your hands on a book. We even offer drive-thru windows at some of our branches so you never have to set foot inside to enjoy all of the library goodies.

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