Another Bookmark in the World

I hate to cover up Saturday’s post, but I hate to let the blog sit idle, too. I hope you will go read it if you haven’t already.

I recently had my first overdue library book. I don’t mean the first in the past year, or the first in the past ten years; I mean the first in my life.

You see, I’m a far piece (or is that fur piece?) from town. There simply is no such thing as a “quick trip to town.” I carefully plan trips to town and sign books out accordingly. From time to time, I rely on being able to renew books online. My system has worked flawlessly for years.

Until recently.


Another patron put a hold on one of the books I had signed out, and that meant I couldn’t renew it, online or otherwise. And that little heading that says “Your books on hold” on the bottom of my account page does NOT mean books in my stash that others have on hold; it means books that I’ve put a hold on and am waiting to receive. Oh. Huh.

Wouldn’t it be equally helpful to know which books I’m holding that others are waiting for?

So someone had a hold on one of my books, and I didn’t discover it until the day it was due. I had to be in town one week later, but not before then, so I had to choose: make a special trip to town ($20.00 in gas, $? in time, ? in carbon emissions), or suffer the consequences of an overdue book ($1.05 fine, frustration for the other patron, guilt, loss of a perfect personal record).

I chose to keep the book for an additional week. Gasp! Selfish? Perhaps.

A week later, I returned my other books and took the overdue one directly to the counter where I paid my fine, and the book was processed immediately for the next reader. And here’s the best part–the reason I’m telling you this story: I was permitted to leave a hand-stitched bookmark and written (anonymous) apology in the book for the patron I had kept waiting.

So there you have it. Another stitched bookmark was set free in the world, spreading embroidery joy randomly hither and yon.

What? Did I take a picture of it? Umm. No.

Categories: Needlework, Reading

5 replies »

  1. What a wonderful story! Your camera has been forgetting to take pictures. I think it’s time you had a talk with it.

  2. I think the Eldersburg Public Library is able to stay in business due to the high income they receive from my overdue fines.

  3. Wow! Never ever a late fee until now! I am amazed. And what a cool way to let someone know you were sorry for keeping the book they wanted. But we need picktures of the bookmarks!