Thursday, August 20, 2015

Where the Nefarious Librarian Went Wrong

When I dug up and reread this post from bygone years...

I could see why the Nefarious Librarian might, for a moment, have sincerely thought I was the one who'd taken the book out of the library without its being Properly Checked Out.

The post was ambiguous. Why did I write it that way? I was in a hurry; I'd explained some things about the Fair Trade Books in previous posts, and didn't feel a need to explain them again. One of them was that being an Amazon Associate gave me incentives either to buy books from Amazon for resale or just to encourage readers to buy books directly from Amazon. Another was that the Fair Trade Books idea was meant to promote legitimate sales of books in order to encourage writers, not to encourage theft.

I didn't expect the book to be stolen from the library. And, like most people who check out lots of library books, I have walked out of libraries carrying books that hadn't been Properly Checked Out--usually with the blessing of librarians who've said things like "One of those seventeen books didn't scan right! Never mind! Just bring them all back!" (It's possible, considering that Pick Another Checkout Lane eventually returned to the library, that that's what happened with it.) And nefarious librarians around the world make it tempting when they discard older books, sell them cheap or throw them away, for no valid's no longer possible for anyone to respect most public libraries as community projects. 

I'm sure our Nefarious Librarian would (and probably does) resell books from our local library, probably including some I've loved and missed. However, the whole point of Fair Trade Books is that the books have been properly purchased. I've kept library books that were not Properly Checked Out past what would have been their due dates, since they didn't show up on the list of what to return on which day, but I have returned them; I would not knowingly sell a stolen book.

I live and work where my ancestors have lived and worked for two hundred years--and that's only the White ones. I've used the same screen name and identity for ten years. I have a reputation to maintain, and standards. And I'm an introvert, with the fully developed brain that feels the ickiness of selling stolen things as painfully as I feel the sour notes the Nefarious Librarian "sings." But I do understand how Little Miss "Not From Here, Not For Us" might have imagined otherwise. People like that believe that they are normal.