Convenience by proxy at library

  • Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The following story is a work of fiction; any resemblance to real life events is accidental.

Tomorrow is July 4 and I am really looking forward to the neighborhood parade and barbecue. This year I am going to make something special. Bobby Flay’s new cookbook, “Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction” is waiting for me to be picked up at the library, together with the movie “Identity Thief” with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman for a relaxing evening after the fireworks.

Also waiting for me is the new book written by the Dutch author Herman Koch, “The Dinner,” for the necessary 30 minutes – or more – reading before going to sleep.

When I look at the clock, horror strikes me.

I spent more time than I anticipated or wanted on my house “chores” – which I hate by the way – and I still have to pick up my kids from summer camp, go to the library and go to the grocery store.

I am definitely running late, and today of all days the library closes early.

When I close the front door I see my neighbor walking to her car with her arms full of books and DVDs marked with the very familiar library spine label. I am in luck.

“Tina, Tina, wait up. Are you going to the library right now? Please say yes and please can you do me a favor and pick up my holds?”

And because I am her “all-time favorite” neighbor she says yes. She will drop the items off after she comes back.

One less worry, and I am on my way to pick up the twins. I arrive when they still have to finish their soccer scrimmage. While I am waiting, my cell phone rings and Tina’s number pops up. “Hi, Tina. You’re back already? That’s quick. … What do you mean they won’t give you my holds? … YOU NEED MY LIBRARY CARD FOR THAT?

No, Tina, I don’t have my library card with me; it’s in my other purse. What am I to do?”

By the time the twins are finished, the library is closed. Obviously I won’t be making a special Bobby Flay recipe for tomorrow’s barbecue or watching “Identity Thief.” And I am definitely not starting to read “The Dinner.”

If this story sounds familiar and you, a family member or one of your friends has been on the receiving end of this special library rule, I am sure you were not very happy at that time.

What is the big deal about my neighbor checking out for me a cookbook, a funny movie and a novel that is very intriguing with a lot of surprising twists and turns? I gave her permission, after all.

Well, these rules are in place to protect you and your privacy.

If the library would allow people to check out items on your card without any kind of official permission from you, the following could happen. Your husband is in the library to check out a book for himself and because he is there he wants to pick up your holds to save you a trip; he still feels bad about the fight you two had the evening before and as usual he didn’t have time to discuss the problem before he left for work this morning. But what if one of your books has the title “The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy” by Raoul Felder and Barbara Victor? That could cause a very awkward moment at your home. Or if somebody picks up your items and this person doesn’t deliver them to you, you are still responsible for said items (returning, paying late fees, or paying for an item if it is never returned or is damaged).

To prevent all this inconvenience and/or embarrassment, the library offers a new service, the “Convenience-by-Proxy.”

For your convenience, the Charleston County Public Library permits an authorized person 18 or older to pick up and check out materials for other persons.

If you wish to give another person your “proxy” (the authority to use your borrowing privileges), please come to the library and fill out one of our Convenience-by-Proxy Applications, but be aware you will still be the person who is responsible for what happens on your account. For additional information about this service please contact us at 843-849-6161or visit us in person.

Not all of the above story is fiction: The library will be closing at 6:00 p.m. today, July 3, and will be closed tomorrow, July 4.

Upcoming programs:

Adults and Teens

Mt. Pleasant Reel Club – A book/movie discussion group (adults)

Wednesday, July 3 at 2 p.m.

Read the book, come watch the movie with us, and then participate in a lively discussion.

Book: “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Movie: “Easy A” starring Emma Stone (Rated PG-13, 92 minutes). A clean cut high school student sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in “The Scarlet Letter” after a little white lie gets out. Hoping to become popular, she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, July 8 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

“Secrets of Eden” by Chris Bohjalian

Women’s Wellness Talk: An Integrative Strategy to Your Health (adults)

Tuesday, July 9 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Since women’s bodies are designed differently than men’s, women deserve a different approach to their health and wellness. Join Dr. Erikka Curia, a women’s health specialist, to learn about health promotion and disease prevention.

Teen Summer Movie: “Wreck-It Ralph” (Grades 6-12)

Wednesday, July 10 at 2 p.m.

Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game’s hero, Fix-It Felix, but it seems nobody loves the bad guy. In this animated comedy see if Ralph can become the hero he wants to be. Featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch (rated PG, 101 minutes).


PLAY: DIY Arts & Crafts with Ms. Grace (all ages)

Saturday, July 6 at 1:30 p.m.

Dig into art with Ms. Grace’s DIY Crafts.

Monday Matinée: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (all ages)

Monday, July 8 at 2:30 p.m.

Rated G, 91 minutes.

The Great Fettucini (ages 6 – 11)

Thursday, July 11 at 4 p.m. (tickets given out at 3:30)

Delightful juggling with comedy and lots of audience participation.


Family Storytimes (ages 2 – 6 years)

Thursdays, July 11, 18 and 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Babygarten (ages 0 – 19 months with an adult)*

Tuesdays, July 23 and 30 and Wednesdays, July 24 and 31 at 10:30 a.m.

*Please register

Mirjam Veldkamp works in the reference department at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library Branch (1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161, www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com, www.ccpl.org). Remember to email MTPReference@ccpl.org if you wish to receive a PDF copy of the programs being held each month at Mount Pleasant Regional.

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