Friday, January 31, 2014
The Wayward Biology Textbook
We had a good day in the library yesterday!
In mid-December, a girl checked out a Biology textbook for same-day use. But she didn't bring it back that day, nor the next, nor the next. In the ensuing weeks, I e-mailed her multiple times and I talked to her in the cafeteria. Finally I e-mailed her parents, asking them to ensure that she either returned the book or paid £25. I got no response, no money and no textbook.
I'd been debating what to do next -- call the parents? But my coworker Lindsey suddenly decided yesterday that it was time to resolve the situation. We marched up to the girl's classroom, pulled her out of geometry, and asked her to call her driver so he could bring the book to school when he picked her up that afternoon. (Yes, she has a driver.)
We both thought chances were slim that this would work. But by golly, she brought the textbook back to the library that afternoon. And I am done giving that kid textbooks, at least for the rest of this school year.
We are continuing to purge the shelves of antiquated and unread books. I still find it a depressing process, but I was able to successfully argue for the preservation of a few volumes, such as Che Guevara's book about the Cuban revolution. I mean, for history's sake, we ought to keep Che, right?!
I also grabbed a couple of nice books about World War II to bring home for our neighbor Chris. (He's the one who winds up talking about the war no matter what the rest of us are discussing.) His mother worked on code-breaking during the war, and we were giving away a never-read book about the British effort to break German codes. He'll be over the moon about that, unless he already owns it.
(Photo: A bus stop in Shepherd's Bush.)