Some Of These Books Are Trash

, , , , | | Right | June 19, 2019

Like many libraries, ours has an outdoor book-drop where people can turn in their library books after hours or if they’re in too much of a hurry to come inside. It’s not uncommon for patrons with overdue items to insist they’ve put their books and movies in the outdoor book-drop, though we empty the drop several times a day to ensure items don’t accrue fines.

One elderly gentleman calls us to ask why two books are still showing up on his account when he knows for a fact that he put them in our outdoor book-drop a week ago. We search the shelves and the drop for the missing books but come up empty. We ask the man again when he turned in the books.

“Last week,” he says, “in the book-drop in front of the library.”

Cue expressions of horror from all of us. Our outdoor book-drop is located on the side of the building. What’s in front of the library… is a trash can.

We check the trash can to be safe, but it has since been emptied by the janitorial crew and the books are long gone. I feel bad for the gentleman accidentally throwing away library books, but at the same time, don’t most people recognize a trash can when they see one?

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