Today when we went to the library I had no idea we would have the opportunity to do our weekly giving. But as we got in line for the check out computer, the family two people in front of us discovered they had a rather large late fee and until they paid it, they could check out anymore books.

The kids in the family seemed bummed, but not rude about it. The mom on the other hand looked horrified by the printed receipt. I tried not to eavesdrop as she walked over to the library’s main check out counter and started discussing the late fees with the librarian. I totally felt her pain. The library lets you check out 30 items and charges .25 cents each day per item for late returns. That can add up fast! We’ve had a few $10-$15 charges for simply missing the deadline by a day or two.

But as we waited in line, and she discussed her situation to the librarian, I couldn’t help but feel even worse for her. Her bill was astronomical because she had recently gotten divorced and the books got left at the children father’s house while he was on vacation. She returned them as soon as she could but the late fees couldn’t be avoid since they’d already reached their max on renewals. The librarian seemed very kind, but she simply could do anything to bring down a bill that was SO high.

We were just finishing packing up our books when Claire asked me if we could give them money for the fees…as our giving.

Honestly I didn’t even think she was paying attention to them, and I was a bit ashamed that it hadn’t crossed my mind to pay the bill before she asked. So I immediately said yes and together we walked over to the distressed mother and explained our weekly giving. I thought she was going to cry she was so happy an blown away. (And initially she wasn’t going to let us pay it, since it was a pretty hefty bill — the books were 16 days past due).

But Claire insisted and we used the last of our yard sale money (and maybe a tad extra lol) to cover the bill.

AS we left to go home, Claire pointed out that paying the library was ok because we REALLY like the library. I fully agree. 😂

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