May 10, 2010
Dear Mr. Head of Library,
I am writing to you regarding various complaints. I have been a patron of the Michigan City Library since I moved to Michigan City last year. I am an avid reader and have three children that also love to read. I love libraries, in general. I sometimes feel as a child in a candy store when I walk into a library and see books surrounding me and enveloping me in their brilliance. I love the design of the Michigan City Library and the selection of books, movies and audio books and the convenience of location. However, none of these things make up for the absolute horrific service you get at the Circulation Desk. I have been continually shocked and offended by the staff in the Circulation Desk. Before I give you specific examples I would like to say that the only gentleman that works up there and C are the only exceptions in my mind. I feel it’s almost as a Russian Roulette when I check out hoping that one of those two are working and I’ll get them in my turn in line. The two rudest employees are the older woman with the white curly hair and E.
I have had the occasional late fees, hold fees and I have paid for two books, one of which my dog ate and the other simply seemed like it disappeared. I pay my fees, though have been treated like I’m a criminal when I come in with a late fee of only 50 cents. I was honest when one of the library’s books was destroyed and the other lost and paid for the cost immediately. I have taken out audio books, movies and games and have had to advise the library multiple times of audio books or movies that didn’t work. I had to bring a Playaway back within 2 days as it didn’t get past track 3. One time, I had dropped an audio book off in the box outside as the library was not open and the last CD had skipped to the point that I still don’t know the end of the book. The next day I went to the library to tell them and was told rudely by the Circulation Desk that it’s back on the shelf and it was obvious nothing would be done about it.
The first incident I had with E had me quite perturbed but it would take a lot for someone like me to give up the library based on one employee’s rudeness. As I had said before I had a book that was damaged and when I came in to take care of it, the gentleman at the Circulation Desk was there and assisted me. I also had maybe 45 cents in late fees and 2 to 3 hold book fees. I wrote a check for the amount due and he wrote me out a detailed receipt with a breakdown of the costs I had paid. The next time I came into the library, E, waited on me. She scanned my card and told me I had $1.00 in hold fees. I told her I paid those hold fees the last time I was in. She denied that I did so. I told her I had a receipt, she threw her hand in my face and started yelling for a supervisor. I started digging in my purse as she makes this major commotion getting a supervisor and amazingly enough I still had the receipt. So I showed it to her and the supervisor. What does she do next? Mayhap an apology might be in order? NO! She goes back behind the 2nd division in the circulation desk area and starts yelling at the guy that helped me out because he didn’t remove them from my account! As I stand waiting to be checked out! Now, let me tell you I was absolutely mortified for the guy and in no way intended on getting him in trouble. E made me feel like I was some sort of criminal trying to get away with $1.00!!!! I still think what nerve she has to put me and that guy and everyone else in line through that! And maybe I should’ve just kept my mouth quiet and paid the $1.00, but I didn’t owe it and didn’t feel I should have to pay it.
The second incident just happened recently and has forced me into the sad decision that I do not want to return to the library. I am looking into joining another library in the Michigan City area in the hopes that the employees in an alternate library will not be so harsh. As I previously indicated I have rented a lot of movies from the library. I know from being a frequent customer of the audio books and movies the quick cursory glance the staff gives the disc before shuffling the next person into line. I have rented quite a few discs from the library that flat out don’t work in my dvd player, scratched or not. I have told the staff when a movie doesn’t play properly. More often than not the movies I have checked out from the library are scratched and skip at least one or two times when my children are watching them. I figure it’s a part of life and they are free movies so who am I to complain? Well now I am the one complaining as I rented Mulan and my children watched it a couple of times before I returned the movie. I came in to the library to pick up a book on hold and lucky me, I got E as my clerk. She got my book off hold and scanned my card and then told me to wait a minute. She brings out the Mulan disc and says you damaged this, we need $30. I told her I did not damage it and she immediately threw her hand in my face again and went to get a supervisor, yelling the entire way. Sir, I am not an intimidating woman. I do not yell or slam my first when trying to make a point. E is unaccountably rude and it’s absolutely shameful the way she has treated me, like I’m some sort of lying thief. When the supervisor came up I explained the situation that I did not scratch it and that it played fine in my house. I cried when I left the library, a first and a last, I can assure you. Sure, the dvd was quite scratched but most of the dvd’s I get from the library are scratched. I would take full responsibility for the dvd if I had indeed damaged it. You can look in my account and see that I have paid my fees and was honest in regards to the two books that I have paid for. My payment history can show the type of library patron I am, to this point.
I do not feel that I should be responsible for the cost of the Mulan dvd. I did not damage it, no matter what they say regarding the scratching. Most of the children dvd’s are scratched significantly so. If the library is going to throw my account into a collection for it that would affect my credit, then I will feel that my hand will be forced into paying for a dvd that I did not damage. I will seek patronage for myself and my family in an alternate library in Michigan City area and only hope that by writing this letter that E will be served some sort of punishment for being so rude to the patrons of Michigan City Library. I am saddened to write this letter with the intent of no longer being a patron. But I can no longer stand by and be treated so terribly in a place that has always been a safe haven to me.
If you would please let me know if I will be turned into collection if I should not pay for the DVD that I did not damage, I would be much obliged. Also I am including a check of $1.50 for any additional holds I had on my account. I know House Rules came in as that’s the book I was there to pick up and Runaway came in subsequently after that I had put on hold.