The Local Library

I didn’t use the word I wanted to use in this post title, but after this post you can use your imagination.

Yesterday, on our Chativersary, Stan and I decided to go to the local Carthage library. The library is this beautiful stone building that was built in about 1902. Inside it isn’t large, but it is nice.

Since we were visiting, we decided we wanted to sign up for a library card. I went to the desk to ask about the process and this is what I found out. In order to get a library card at the local library you must give them your social security number, two personal references, which they actually check, oh, and if you live outside of the city limits, you must pay a yearly fee. Stan and I live a mere three blocks from the city limits. We work at the company that this town was built on, we pay our taxes in Carthage, we buy our food in Carthage, yet we were asked to pay a fee per person if we wanted to get a card.

I have to admit, I got angry and stormed out. I have never been so insulted in my life. I am 29 years old. I have held multiple library cards. I am a devoted English major, and my love of books is likely much greater than the entire staff of the Carthage Public Library combined. It was quite possibly the worst library experience of my life. I was nearly in tears by the time I left. I wanted to ask them if they needed this information for a library card or a job interview.

(Incidentally, when I lived in Tulsa, I signed up for my library card online and it was mailed to me.)

On the bright side, we followed that terrible experience by having lunch at El Charro. Jana and Krista, remember that dish I had at Senor Tequila a couple of weeks ago? Well, El Charro has one almost exactly like it, except it is covered in melted white cheese! It was wonderful. And ever since I’ve eaten it, I have been craving it like crazy!

All in all, it wasn’t a bad day. The best part is that now Stan and I can officially say that we’ve known each other for a year! Wow! A whole year!

I really do love this man!

9 thoughts on “The Local Library

  1. Emily says:

    No words. There are no words to describe that. I think I would have thrown things and created a scene, just to prove a point. Who needs references to read books? Goodnight – that’s almost as bad as banning books to begin with!

  2. Coley says:

    Emily, in some ways I did feel like I was somehow being banned from the library. With all of the security measures they have, I am starting to think that their policy is that everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Thank goodness you don’t need all of those references and such to buy books! I would never survive!

  3. Coley says:

    To be honest, Rindy, I didn’t stay around to find out. I was out the door before she could react! I will probably never go back to that library.Do you remember all of those afternoons at the Magnolia library after school? I’m pretty sure that it was all of those experiences that fueled my love of literature. I still think of that library as my favorite library. I want to visit it again someday.Oh, do you remember when they used to have a phone number you could call and hear a story? That was awesome! Libraries should do things like that again!

  4. Jana Swartwood says:

    I have never, in all my life, had to provide that much personal information to a library. That is completely out of bounds and ridiculous. What kind of information are they wanting from your references anyway??? “Well, I don’t know, Mr. Library Policeman. In all my years knowing Nicole, I’ve never seen her steal a library book.” REALLY??? I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. Maybe you should try Joplin.

  5. Coley says:

    I know, Jana, right? I can’t imagine what kinds of questions they would ask my references.The saddest part is that this library is building a brand new addition to their beautiful building that I will probably never see because I just don’t want to ever go in there again.

  6. KB says:

    Bizarre. I wonder if they have a lot of people from outside city limits using the library when they should pay to use it. I know where my folks live, there isn’t a public library so you have to pay to use the neighboring one and it’s super expensive. Where I live, the library is awesome. I can go online now and check off books I want to read and they deliver them to my local branch, sending me an e-mail when they’re ready. That rocks. You’re such a good writer, I think you should write a letter to the editor of the newspaper or to city hall. Seriously.

  7. Coley says:

    K, thank you! A letter to the editor is exactly what I plan to do. I am doing a little research now to find out what libraries in other similar sized towns require before I write it, though.And you have no idea how jealous I am of your local library. The Tulsa libraries are like that.Oh, how I do miss living in the city!

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