Take a journey with me. Let’s go back to the days when checking a book from the Library was the easiest thing you did all week. When the Library Lady knew your name, and those of all your friends.
Then the invention of The Library Card happened. At first, it was free to people who lived in the town or close by. After that, if you didn’t live in town you paid a yearly fee for the ability to take out books. That’s fine, well and understandable.
Fast forward to 2014 and the Lafayette Public Library System.
There is no more walking in and asking for a card, filing out an address form and getting a card on the spot – even for a fee. No, no.
In my attempt this week to obtain The Coveted Library Card, I was met with an online application process and strict policy. Because I am not 1) not a legal and verifiable resident in this parish, 2) a verifiable employee in this city or parish or 3) a verifiable student in this parish, I am unable to get a simple Library Card. I can, however, pay a small fee for a day pass which limits my use of the Library to the computers only.
Oh, and by the way, in the event you are chosen to be One of The Privileged Few, you will receive a confirmation email (which hasn’t happened yet) and the card will be delivered via the US Postal Service.
What the shit is that?!
Okay, I can understand they don’t want just anyone walking in and snatching books. But, my God…I can’t even pay for a limited-use, short-term card here! When I was working in Ellsworth, some of my clients liked to visit the library so I decided to get a non-resident card: $20 for a 6 months. Totally fair! I made real good use of it, too. They were more than happy to take my money.
Now, I have to resort to Snagglepussing my way into the System to take down The Man.
Just to borrow a Library book.