In good standing


Recently, I was invited to represent the Mifflin County Library at local elementary schools’ kindergarten registrations. At these registrations I presented families with the opportunity to sign up and become library card holders.

As I signed families up for their new library cards, I explained the responsibilities of holding a library card.  For instance, to maintain good standing with the library, one must be a responsible borrower of materials. This means that if you borrow materials from the library, you are responsible for the care of items while they are in your possession, as well as ensuring that you will return the items on time. Now, if damage occurs to library items while they are in your possession, you may need to pay the library to have them replaced. Also, if you do not return materials on time, a fine will be incurred, which you will need to pay.

While I spoke with families about maintaining good status with the library, I began to think about my own status with the library. Yes, I am an employee of the library and yes, I do have good status with the library, but I am here to tell you that I am not immune to fines from the library. I, too, have had to pay for items damaged while in my care and items that have been returned late. I share this information with you because I want you to know I understand what it is like to have fines.

Let me tell you a story about the first time I received a fine for an item damaged while in my possession.   Prior to my employment at the library, I had checked out an audio book for an upcoming drive to visit friends. During my journey I listened to the first CD and became engrossed in the story, loving every minute. Soon, it was time to continue onto disk two of the book. I ejected the first disk from my vehicle’s CD player and inserted disk two. The story continued on to the cliffhanger, and, at that point, needed changed again to the final disk of the book. I pushed eject on the CD player and nothing happened. I tried again, still nothing. Ugh, the frustration! Not only can I not get the disk ejected, but I cannot hear the end of the story. When I returned home from my journey, I contacted my local garage and explain that I have a disk stuck in the CD player. Unfortunately, I learned that there is no way to get the disk out without removing the whole stereo system. At this point I headed to the library to explain what had happened and to take care of the fee to replace the audiobook that was damaged while in my care.

I took care of this fine then because it was important to me to maintain good standing with the library, but it was also important to me to know that others can now have the opportunity to check out the materials that I had damaged. My paying for the materials damaged in my care meant that the library could replace the audio book so others could borrow it for their enjoyment as well.

It was then, and still is now, important for me to be in good standing with the library. So when fines are incurred, I pay them because the library is important to me and I know that the library is important to others as well. Please remember to take care of your fines and materials so others can also enjoy them as well.


Kelly Rodenbaugh is the youth services manager at the Mifflin County Library. She is currently reading “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver. If you liked “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collin,s give “Delirium” a try!