How we got banned from the library and my plan

I love to study. Sometimes it baffles me when children in this house do not share my desire to pour over books and take notes. I love it. This is what I do. It’s what I have done my whole life.

When JD, at 2 years old, would wake up in the morning, pull up a kitchen bar stool, and say, “Let’s study shapes, Mom!!” my heart would swell with pride. This is my boy.

When Joshua memorized all the species of whales at 3 years old, and checked out every single library book on badgers at 5, I knew that this apple was not falling far from the tree. (These days he memorizes sports statistics instead.)

By the end of my own kindergarten year, the library was my favorite place. It’s sad that all these years later we are banned from the library.

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking it’s my kids’ fault, or my fault for not controlling my boys. But that wasn’t it at all. My boys love to go to the library, and while they are sometimes a little rambunctious, they have never actually caused any problems there.

It was me. I’m the reason.

In 2015, I paid $250 in library late fees, which included some fees left over from 2014.

In 2016, I paid ~$80 in library late fees, because I was trying harder and being more careful.

In Monterey, I could keep it under the radar. The librarians there were cool with us. Who doesn’t want the lady who donates $250 to the library?

But here in the South, I made the mistake, hefty mistake, of signing up for text alerts for when my books were due. I think the texts also went to the email account that I share with Alan, the same Alan who is very sensible with his money, maybe a little more sensible and organized than his wife…

Alan soon realized that I don’t bat an eye at returning a book a week overdue and continuing to use my library account.

I figure if the library lets me, I’ll just put it off until later, and they do always let me carry a balance. The library here is kind of far away, and I have trouble remembering where it is exactly and how to get there….

Poor Alan. The stress was too much. He was all calling the library to make sure we’d returned them all, going by there and paying all the late fees, and then he said it. He did.

“Can you please stop checking books out from the library?”

At least I think he said it. If he didn’t say it out loud, he was surely thinking it.

So I said it: “Okay. I know. I was wrong. I’m sorry. We will never check books out from the library again.”

I can be dramatic like that.

Alan was all, “Phew!!! Yes, I mean yes, obviously, you should not.”


And that was how we got banned from the library, and how I started shopping more at Book Fairs, Scholastic store online, and Amazon, so I’m not altogether sure we’re saving any money, but we do get to keep the books now…..which is actually sort of a storage problem.

And that is why the library is part of my New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

Yes, I’m aware that I didn’t actually make any New Year’s resolutions back in January, but I’m making one now. Right here, in the month of April, or as you might say MY MONTH.

I am getting my organizational act together!

I have actually been writing in and checking that planner that I bought. This is a BIG DEAL for me.

Every 2 to 3 years, we get completely uprooted, and I have to basically start life all over again, so maybe that helps you understand why I do not have the deeply engrained schedules that you may have. For a military wife, life changes drastically constantly. In 1 more year, we will probably move yet again.

Sometimes I’m guilty of feeling like why bother.

But you know what? I’ve got a lot of kids’ schedules to figure out now, and the older they get the more activities they have, and I’m going to have to get used to writing all this stuff down.

To be fair, it’s a lot of people to keep up with. šŸ˜‰

So here’s my plan to lift the library ban.

  1. Look at my planner every single day. Ā I’m going to do that as soon as I finish this article.
  2. Take my planner with me, and write down each upcoming responsibility down on the calendar so I won’t forget.
  3. Check out 1 library book, write down the due date in the planner, and see if I can get it back to the library on time.
  4. If that works, I’m going to check out 2 books the next time!!!


So what about you guys? Have any of you ever paid $200 in library fees? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve also lost books and had to buy the library new ones. I didn’t feel like this made me a bad customer. I felt like it just made me a frequent flyer, and these things were inevitable. Right? I say yes.

Have a FUN weekend, y’all. Life’s too short to not.

“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. ” Ecclesiastes 5:7


“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Ā  Psalm 20: 4-5



  • Love it! šŸ™‚
    When I was little, we went to the library every Tuesday night. There was a limit of 10 books, which I found distressing because that wasn’t enough to get me through the week. I honestly don’t know how my mom managed to get us all there. I found it exhausting to haul my little ones anywhere, and finally justified just buying the books. By the time I paid for gas to drive to the library 5 times (once for each child), I might even save money buying instead of renting from the library. Bookcases aren’t expensive if you watch for sales šŸ˜‰

    Since getting a smart phone recently, I am finding that 1) it’s misnamed – it should be called a pocket computer, and 2) it works wonderfully for keeping track of schedules and reminding me of things that need to be done. If you use a smartphone, you could set a weekly reminder to return library books, or you could put a routine library outing on your calendar šŸ™‚

  • We love the library. We’ve never paid any late fees but we did have buy a book that the then 4 year old destroyed (even though I’ve taught him that’s not how we treat books). I like buying books so we can keep them. We can almost always find room for more books. Or we just start a new pile šŸ™‚

    • Never paid any late fees. That means you have a whole lot more in common with my husband than with me. I have never been able to utter that sentence.

    • Good thing that “almost” is in there. We are out of space for more bookcases. There’s a bookcase in the entry hall. There are four bookcases in the family room. There are four bookcases in the music room. There’s even a bookcase in the formal dining room. There’s a bookcase full of cookbooks in the kitchen. There are bookcases lining the hallway. There are bookcases in all the bedrooms, plus bookcases in the headboards of all the beds, and I even got a different style dresser to take up less floor space to squeeze in another bookcase. There are two bookcases in the sitting room. There’s even a bookcase in the laundry room. The only place we don’t have bookcases is the bathrooms because the humidity would harm the books. My son seems to think that the couch beside where he sits is a good place to pile books. I truly don’t have space for any more books. Thank God for kindles!

  • What?? You got banned from the Library?? Oh No Allen banned you from the library. I totally understand both sides. You are like me, Allen is like my boyfriend hehehehehe. I love your plan to be more organized. Iā€™m still cracking up at the conversation you and Allen had. Have a great Easter April
    Mary recently posted…DIY Carrot Body Pillow #craftyfridaysMy Profile

  • Jen

    My library will only give you $15 bucks in fees before they stop your account.
    That helps me keep things together a little more. See the usage of a little more?
    Good luck with the plan and the planner šŸ™‚
    Jen recently posted…Guest Post: Finding Peace Amidst Struggles With AddictionMy Profile

  • My library does not do late fees at all- but they suspend your account if you’re over here weeks late. I feel like it’s a good trade.

  • My library won’t let you check out anything new if you owe TEN BUCKS! I owed 12 last week and she let it slide because she likes me.. I really needed museum passes.
    I have no doubt you can lift this ban!
    Tamara recently posted…Leftover Easter Eggs? Make Avocado Egg Salad!My Profile

  • Wow! No, I’ve never paid that much in library fees, but I have a system…

    – I place holds on my books online.
    – I check the books out on the same day.
    – I keep a log of the books we took out in my homeschool planner.
    – I write the library due date on my calendar and type it into my Google calendar (with several reminder alerts).

    Our library also has a cap on the amount you owe before you can take out more books. I think it’s $20.

    Hope fully your plan works!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…5 Powerful Ways to Reconnect With Your ChildMy Profile

    • That is a highly effective system. I like the idea of writing down the titles in your planner. I’m loving all the ways I can use my planner, now that I’m finally getting back to using one.
      aprilmomoffour recently posted…Easter 2017My Profile

  • I think I’ve paid a total of 50 cents in library late fees since I was 4. I’m a month shy of 31. Since having kids, I’ve been a huge fan of online book renewal. Easy and no late fees. The one time I couldn’t renew because there was a wait list, I called the library to explain (I was very sick). They waived the fee.

    I hope your plan works and you can get back to the library. We go every other Monday…unless something comes up then I do the online renewal thing. šŸ˜‰ #HappyNow

    • clicked a button so my web address isn’t finished. Whoops

    • You are a higher being than me. Online renewal has always alluded me because I live in dread of yet another user name password to remember. You see, we move every 2 years, and that’s a whole new system to learn each time. You are like my husband. Such a thing would never happen to him either.

  • I found you over at Debbie’s linkup and then HAD to click this post. I am a book freak and so the title drew me in haha. Great idea here to help with the issue. It’s cool you shared!

  • Oh, yes. I’ve banned myself. Fines weren’t big, as I’d remember to renew on-line, over and over again. I am just hopeless at getting to the library. It’s in a town that I only go to the library in and nothing else. I love books. I grew up in a military family. Can quite understand the challenges of a routine when you move on so quickly! #MMBC

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