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They Call This A Public Library

Author : Connie H. Deutsch   Top Author

We seem to have gotten so self-righteous and narrow-minded that we are now sending a clear message to our children that it is better not to borrow a book from a public library in case a policeman comes to your door to arrest you because you forgot to return it.

Do you think that this is far-fetched? Ask the five-year-old child who cried when she saw the policeman at the door because she thought he was going to arrest her.

Apparently, her fears weren't unfounded. According to a news source, "Christopher Anspach was sentenced to ten days in jail for failing to return his overdue library books after several months and multiple overdue notices." Christopher's mother said they didn't receive any notices; the public library said they sent them.

But, who cares that a child didn't return the books? What have we been reduced to that a public library has taken to strong-arming children to return books? We are so far behind most of the countries of the civilized world in education that you would think the libraries would be delighted that some children still want to read books.

So what if it costs our libraries a few thousand dollars for the unreturned books? If, as ABC News reported, taxpayers are footing the $600,000 bill to research the sex lives of African squirrels and there are 92 studies of pigeons that we are paying for, among many other studies of this ilk, then surely, we can afford to use some of that money to keep our children going to libraries to read books.

It's a sad commentary on our society that our citizens read so far below the level of sixth grade students. Surveys have been conducted and the consensus is that most adults are willing to read articles online if they are short, and to read magazines with pictures, but they don't want to read text without pictures. If children see their parents spending a lot of time at the computer and not reading any books, they are likely to emulate their actions.

We have a severe problem in this country. Children are turning away from books in favor of playing video games, talking on their cell phones, texting, IMing, and a million other things that don't require reading. Publishers have stopped taking a chance on new authors and most of their books are reissues of their best-selling authors.

People in this country aren't reading as much as they used to, so consequently, publishers aren't publishing as many new books as they used to. To verify this point, just walk into any bookstore and count the number of new authors whose books are displayed on their shelves, especially in relation to how many books are reissues of best-selling authors.

And now the public libraries, in their infinite wisdom, are sending policemen to the homes of little children to retrieve borrowed books. Have they not realized that if these children stop reading books, there will come a time when libraries will become obsolete and these librarians will be out of a job?

Several of the branch libraries in my city have closed their doors, and that was before law enforcement officers were sent to traumatize children into returning borrowed books. As much as I love books, I don't know if I would have continued to read if, like that five-year-old child, I thought that I was going to be arrested for not returning the books. And can you imagine the boy who was sentenced to ten days in jail for not returning library books ever wanting to go to another library again?

I remember seeing a library book in a friend's house. I picked it up and looked at the card that was inserted in the holder at the back of the book and saw that the book was a year overdue. The title of the book was "How to Improve Your Memory."

Author's Resource Box

Connie H. Deutsch is an internationally known business consultant and personal advisor who has a keen understanding of human nature and is a natural problem-solver. She has counseled people who have OCD for more than 40 years,

Connie is the author of the books, “Round and Round Goes the Merry-Go-Round: Drugless Therapy for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)” “Whispers of the Soul,” “A Slice of Life,” “Whispers of the Soul for the Rest of Your Life,” “From Where Im Sitting,” “Are You Listening?,” “View from the Sidelines,” “Reaching for the Brass Ring of Life,” “Purple Days and Starry Nights,” “Here and There,” “And Thats How it Goes,” and “The Counseling Effect.” Her website:
See more of her articles by clicking here ConnieHDeutsch Articles

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Tags:   libraries, books, overdue books, policemen, jail, reading, publishing, best-sellers

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Submitted : 2012-01-06    Word Count : 659    Times Viewed: 1653