There is HOPE


For all those wondering if there is truly hope for the hopeless… those who’ve made their resolutions and long since broken them… for those that thought, perhaps your just destined for failure…. to those… I offer this little glimmer of hope….

Our last visit to the library—if that trip didn’t redeem us, I don’t know what will!

Those who have been long time readers here at the circus… might recall I have a bit of a bad history with the library…  first, we have the whole circus family wing of the library thanks to the $18 fine visit and the $42 fine visit.  Then we have the patronizing librarian who made me feel insecure in my mothering skills…

I’ll be honest, for awhile I just avoided the library at all costs. 

But, they keep luring in me in with the promise, the hope of free books.  (and really great story times for the younglings).  And now that my oldest is reading a chapter book a night, I had no choice but to buck down and get a system in check for the library.  Because 1.  I don’t want to discourage his love for reading and 2.  I can’t afford to keep paying $40 a pop for a library visit. 

So, my e-mail address is registered with the library and they e-mail 3 days ahead of my due date warning me that it is coming. 

But, here is the miraculous part… now I actually do something about it. 

Last Wed, we had a bunch of library books due.  It was a kinda rough day at the circus, b/c my oldest was home sick from the tutorial and I was scrambling to take care of him, help him with his school work and do my normal Wed chores…  not the ideal day for the library. Here is where old Crystal would say, “oh well… it’s not a good day, I’ll return them another day then.”  but the new Crystal actually hunted down the books and put them in a bag before heading out to pick up my daughter from tutorial.  However, we were running late (as usual) and I didn’t have time to gather them all.  Old Crystal would have just returned what she had and given herself an A for effort for the others.  But, instead, we picked my daughter up from tutorial, drove home, I left the kids in the van while I ran in and gathered ALL the books and we headed to the library.  I had 2 books which I was still reading so I left those on my passenger seat so I could see if I could renew them and if I couldn’t, I’d just drop them in the book drop before pulling out of the parking lot.


Well…. when it came time to check out, the most amazing thing happened.  We were checking out with our giganto bag of books and everyone, including the youngest, was begging to give their book to the librarian.. I was juggling the baby, the bag of books, the purse/wallet/library card… and in the midst of all this chaos, the librarian said, “Your kids are always so well behaved.” 


Because I had shhhhshed them at least 10 times in the back of the library reminding them to use their “library voices” and thought for sure we were ahem… noticeable to say the least.  I even said, “Really?  Us?”  to which she said, “Oh yes, you should be very proud, I see all kinds here at the library.” 

This totally made my day.  (funny how a few little words of praise can really brighten someone's day… hmmm… I am sure there is a lesson to be learned there)

Turns out those 2 books on my passenger seat where in fact unrenewable as someone had put them on hold and OH WAIT… there is another book we forgot to return which is also unrenewable.    So…. we head back to the car, I drive around to the book drop and have my oldest run the 2 books up to the book drop, then we drive home and I send my oldest up to his room to find that missing library book.  He comes down book in hand and we head back to the book drop to return the book.


I must have been walking on sunshine from that librarian’s praise, b/c the old Crystal would have said, “eh… I tried… I went to the library that’s good enough”  and $5 and 43 cents later I’d have found the book and returned it. 

Because, yes, I really was that pathetic.  

When Scott got home from work, I was literally beaming from ear to ear as I reported what a good job we did at the library.  We got complimented by the librarian  and wait Scott there’s more… NO LATE FEES!!  Strike up the band, order up some balloons, let’s have a party…it can be done folks! 


  1. unfortunately the email reminders are not much help to me. i find that i stress about getting them back on time, then once the date they are due passes, i lose all urgency to return... lol

    sounds like the library has redeemed itself!

  2. As a fellow mom with the same problem, I get where you are coming from. :-) Our library in PG county has a way of renewing them online - does AA county have a website with this option? My *new* "no-procrastinating library routine involves first returning on time (ha ha, almost never), second renewing the books online as soon as I get the e-mail (they even tell me online if any of them can't be renewed) but still maintaining the same urgency to get them back as if I hadn't renewed them..., and third, hopefully actually returning them before the maximum of three renewals has been reached. It's getting better due to that second step. A bill of $42 wasn't that unusual for our family until recently... :-)

  3. Crystal, you can renew on line with your library card number and PIN, and if one of your books is on hold and can't be renewed it will tell you. That has saved us countless fines :-) Also, the fact that DVDs can now be borrowed for a whole week has been great!

  4. I am terrified of the library.

  5. I have had a hard time bringing them back myself.....but I want those with the books I want to return ON TIME!! When I was a preschool teacher we would go to the library once a month....just past the due dates. One time a little guy in my class couldn't check out any books because he had fines....try explaining that to him! The librarian also would not tell me how much he owed so I could pass it on to his mom BUT she could tell him and I could overhear the amount...What? He's three! Just tell me if I could "listen" anyway.

  6. crystal, i am so proud of you!!! =) the library is a wonderful thing and the better of a relationship you have with it, the better your kids will learn to treat stuff. i don't ever get to read your blog, but i'm home from school sick today and i can't be near kelly, who is of course ELATED that i'm home, so i've been banished to the bedroom to type. glad that it's working out so well for you!!! =)

  7. Proud of you It is hard with all the kids but you will look back some day & enjoy the Memories I do

  8. Marveling at your newfound dedication to the local library's "suggestion" of when you should have your library books back in! Awesome! I, too, love using the online option to renew when I get the reminder email (because who ever finishes all the books in the time alloted? We only get ours for two weeks where we live).

    Loving all your comments too...especially the one who says she's terrified of the library.

    Sooooo funny!


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