Wednesday, September 24, 2008

in these crap economic times

...who needs unhindered access to the public library most?

This brought back some unpleasant memories.

I discovered it while researching the pros and cons of fines on library materials—the impact on those in poverty. It showed up in search results because someone had commented that, "[b]eing poor is library fines."

But, you know, what's most important is that people know the rules, be good stewards, be responsible... Never mind the reality of unstable housing/jobs/family life and the fact that a young child has absolutely no control whatsoever over such things. Never mind that fines for an already financially strapped household will more likely result in a parent completeley banning his/her child from checking out any library books (now considered an unnecessary and avoidable cost) than any grandiose lesson of stewardship.


Leila said...

be good stewards.... I recently came across someone using this when defending why they were paying so much money to upgrade their home heating furnace. The details of the context are unimportant, but I loved the fact that good stewardship was important and worth defending and paying for. I'm glad you used it. And not surprised ;-)

erin said...

I was being sarcastic (man I suck at it!), and probably too cryptic. This all centered around an unhappy and narrow-minded policy change related to what I do.

I do see the value of stewardship. It is important to know and relate the rules of being a steward of a shared resource--there is mutual respect in that--but you have to also give weight to stewardship of relationships and to understanding the realities some face.

No one has control over events in her life but some don't have the resources (time, money, mental or emotional fortitude) to recover to the point of being concerned with stewardship, if they recover at all.

The only lesson that inflexible rules teach in tough situations is that there is yet one more person or organization to whom a person or family in hardship will pay no heed.

Liz P said...
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