Author Topic: Returning a library book  (Read 4665 times)

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Alias

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Returning a library book
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:49:41 AM »
I have two small children who are not in school yet but (happily) addicted to books.  I have of course got them both library cards and bring them about once a month to the library.

Recently I picked out a book for the youngest that wasn't in the best of shape. The little boy, being a little boy, took that as an invitation to destroy it. It had moving parts that he dismantled, much as he dismantled the remains of his advent calendar looking for leftover chocolate.  My fault, I don't usually leave the library books where he can find them but this one snuck downstairs.

So, I know there are a lot of librarians here, what is the etiquette of returning a damaged library book?

Sharnita

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 10:52:23 AM »
I would just go in, explain that he had damaged it and then take their lead.

Betelnut

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 10:53:26 AM »
Don't return it in the book drop without saying anything to a staff member.  Go up to the circ desk and mention that a book got damaged and show the clerk the book.  Depending on library policy, they may fine/charge you for it.  Accept that with grace (which I'm sure you will!)

I personally would probably purchase a new copy and return the damaged book with the new copy on top!

(I'm a public librarian and have just that!)
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GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 10:55:04 AM »
I'm not a librarian but I'd take right to the circulation desk (in our library there's only one desk and it's right up front) and tell them "We checked this book out and it had some damage, unfortunately my son damaged it more, I wanted to return to you and see how we go about replacing it". Our local library will allow you to bring in an identical replacement in good to new condition, or you can pay the cost for them to replace it.

Also, for the future, if you do check out a book and notice some damage, before you leave the library let them know. That way if the next person who gets it says "Oh, the book was damaged" you won't be the one having to pick up the replacement tab.

EllenS

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 11:09:54 AM »
We have had to do this, though in our case it was because a bout of stomach flu intersected with the pile of library books.

As a matter of fact, we didn't even bother returning the books in question, just threw them out. (I assumed they were infectious besides being revolting). I just returned the ones that had been in another location and were undamaged, and showed the librarian which ones on my account were destroyed.  I actually just said "destroyed" and she said I should bring them back anyway, because perhaps they could be repaired.

When I explained what happened to them, she was very understanding and actually appreciated my decision NOT to bring them back.  The replacement charge was minimal.

Sophia

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 11:12:56 AM »
If you do have to drop it in the book drop, put a note on a large piece of paper and rubberband it to the book and include the title of the book and that you damaged it. 

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 11:46:23 AM »
I have worked in libraries for decades, and would advise you to simply take it to the circulation desk.  DON'T buy a replacement one--libraries sometimes purchase stronger library binding copies, or this might also be a book marked for withdrawal due to lack of interest.  Let the library staff decide.  You probably will have to pay a fee.  And thank you so much for teaching your children to enjoy books, even if your son enjoyed it a little too enthusiastically!

Thipu1

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 12:07:02 PM »
I would just go in, explain that he had damaged it and then take their lead.

Amen.  The simplest way to go is the best.

  Bring the book to the circ desk and explain the situation.  Especially with children's books, these things happen and librarians have procedures in place to deal with them.  If the book had been in circulation for some time and was not in the best of condition to begin with, you may not have to pay for a replacement. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 12:12:49 PM by Thipu1 »

tinkytinky

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 12:34:09 PM »
former librarian here. At our branches, if there is damage that is not paid, it is charged to your card and your card is blocked until the damages are paid (if over $10.00). Definitely check with the circulation desk because as PP have stated, it may be ready to pull from the shelves. usually the most they will charge you is the cost of a new book of that title. IME childrens books, especially for preschoolers, are notorious for getting damaged.

on a semi-related note, I had a book returned to the library that was destroyed by the patron's puppy. and it was destroyed! it was a book titled "how to train your puppy".  ;D  oh we giggled over that one for days.

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bloo

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 12:39:50 PM »
former librarian here. At our branches, if there is damage that is not paid, it is charged to your card and your card is blocked until the damages are paid (if over $10.00). Definitely check with the circulation desk because as PP have stated, it may be ready to pull from the shelves. usually the most they will charge you is the cost of a new book of that title. IME childrens books, especially for preschoolers, are notorious for getting damaged.

on a semi-related note, I had a book returned to the library that was destroyed by the patron's puppy. and it was destroyed! it was a book titled "how to train your puppy".  ;D  oh we giggled over that one for days.

OT, but it would be so cute if there was a way to display that, say with a little stuffed dog and a ball! :)

EllenS

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 02:09:58 PM »
former librarian here. At our branches, if there is damage that is not paid, it is charged to your card and your card is blocked until the damages are paid (if over $10.00). Definitely check with the circulation desk because as PP have stated, it may be ready to pull from the shelves. usually the most they will charge you is the cost of a new book of that title. IME childrens books, especially for preschoolers, are notorious for getting damaged.

on a semi-related note, I had a book returned to the library that was destroyed by the patron's puppy. and it was destroyed! it was a book titled "how to train your puppy".  ;D  oh we giggled over that one for days.

OT, but it would be so cute if there was a way to display that, say with a little stuffed dog and a ball! :)

and a little sign, "the book is for you - dogs can't read."

bloo

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 02:16:36 PM »

and a little sign, "the book is for you - dogs can't read."

Hah! Perfection!  ;D

lowspark

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 02:36:38 PM »
I would just go in, explain that he had damaged it and then take their lead.

This. I wouldn't do anything else first, including buying a copy to replace it. Every library has different policies regarding lost or damaged books so you need to find out their policy before you do anything.

And put me in the "yay for teaching your kids to love books!" group. Best way I found to get my kids to read was to turn off the TV. They had to figure out a different way to entertain themselves and books were it. Both of my sons are grown adults now and still have a love for reading.

Yvaine

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 02:41:14 PM »
former librarian here. At our branches, if there is damage that is not paid, it is charged to your card and your card is blocked until the damages are paid (if over $10.00). Definitely check with the circulation desk because as PP have stated, it may be ready to pull from the shelves. usually the most they will charge you is the cost of a new book of that title. IME childrens books, especially for preschoolers, are notorious for getting damaged.

on a semi-related note, I had a book returned to the library that was destroyed by the patron's puppy. and it was destroyed! it was a book titled "how to train your puppy".  ;D  oh we giggled over that one for days.

Our copy of one of the Marley children's books was eaten by the patron's dog.  ;D And my own dog, years ago, ate my copy of "(That Breed of Dog) for Dummies." It's like they know the books are about them!  ;D

Night Audit Woman

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Re: Returning a library book
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 03:14:22 PM »
Years ago I returned a library book only to receive a notice in the mail that it had been returned damaged: ie. coffee stain. I didn't even drink coffee. I marched down to the library and I am ashamed to say that I over reacted a bit. They didn't charge me anything.

I had taken in a women that I worked with who was going through a rough patch and needed a place to stay. Later I found out she was "bat-poo crazy"* and was leaving coffee stains on all my furniture, counter tops, etc.

I remember her discussing my library books.  I didn't figure out that she must have been using them as coasters for her coffee until several years later.

*Reasons why she was bat-poo crazy: she wrote letters to Marlon Brando and Anthony Robbins weekly.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 03:15:53 PM by Night Audit Woman »