Sunday, February 18, 2024

Getting a library card


I have a stock answer for people who ask "How old does a child need to be to get a library card?"

"Born." I reply. "But I recommend 'old enough to want one'."

Though I've never reflected on it before, it occurs to me that people almost always take my advice on this one. They either look down at the infant in their arms and realize it might be kind of silly to get them a card, or they look over at their five-year-old whose eyes widen spectacularly as they say "Oh! Father! Can I pulllllleeeeeeeeeze?"

Well, they don't usually say "Father". I just thought it would lend a touch of class to today's proceedings.

I don't much like making new library cards, which has given me the ability to suss out at a glance the people who will want one. At this point, you could line up 20 random people in front of me and I could probably tell which ones have library cards, which ones don't, and which ones have a recreational interest in acquiring a card.

Which brings me to my top library card pet peeve. In the cold light of day, there really isn't much wrong with it, but I take it most hard when someone walks into the library, decides to get a library card, gets one, and leaves.

"Wait!" I cry. "Don't you want to get a book?"

"Naw. You just end up having to bring them back."

"Oh. So what do you want our card for?"

"I just want so badly to belong somewhere..."


I guess I can endure my pet peeve a little while longer then.

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