Friday, January 2, 2009

the last newsflash

oh ... le sigh, it is my last issue of the newsletter. i wrote a little goodbye to my kids. i will definitely miss them. i'll also miss my one co-worker friend and my fabulous assistant (although i hear i get TWO assistants at my new library. TWO!) other features in this newsletter are an entire section of poems by kid who hates hoboes (he is our resident poet now).

you may remember that kid who hates hoboes was not doing so well, you know getting left back and acting up. i'm happy to say that he has improved on some levels, like being a good poet, but then sometimes he falls into the trap of acting like a thug. it's very frustrating.

the other day my favorite kid comes in and tells me that kid who hates hoboes, along with another kid, "jumped" him outside the library after we closed. the story goes that KWHH repeatedly told FK to hand over his money, and then KWHH pushed FK into the bushes, causing him to lose his library card in said bushes. i was appalled.

now, you might not think that losing your library card is a big deal. but on the contrary, it is quite a big deal. first off, if someone finds the card they can use it and take out hundreds of dollars worth of stuff and never return it and then your account with us is ruined forever. that's the worst case scenario.

then, it costs $2 for a new card. again, that might not seem like a big deal but most of my kids don't have 2 bucks to spare. so i tell FK that we need to immediately mark his card "lost" so that no one can use it. and then when i look him up in the computer i find out that someone has already tried to fraudulently use his card at the central branch, and that his card is being held for him there.

on the one hand this is good news that we've located his card. but then he has to get himself to central, which involves crossing a major street and walking about a mile, or taking a bus. he really needs an adult for this. since his mother doesn't speak english, she is not typically helpful in taking control of these types of situations.

then he asks me if i could give him a note to give to the people at central to explain the situation. so i write him a little letter saying that he is who he says he is, blah blah blah, i'm a librarian, give him his card please. then he asks me (he's so cute) if he can just give the note to the people without saying anything. he's so sweet. i suggest to him that he say something like "i'm here to get my lost library card. i have a note." he's not crazy about this idea, but i encourage him that sometimes in the grown-up world we have to talk to other people even though its uncomfortable. being someone who often hates talking to other people, i can understand his pain.

then my fabulous assistant and i have a sit down with KWHH and his partner and crime. by this time i am furious with them. the partner in crime is immediately remorseful, and seems genuinely sorry. i soon realize he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. which makes sense because he and FK are friends, and this kid has never been a problem. whereas KWHH is rolling his eyes at us, telling us he was just "playing," etc etc. its pretty infuriating. then i explain to him that pushing someone and demanding their money is not "playing" and that in the adult world such actions are considered to be attempted robbery and assualt. i also explain the ordeal that FK will have to go through to get his card back, and that in less than a 24-hour period someone has already tried to use FK's card. this gets to KWHH but he still tries to act like he is somehow beyond blame.

my assistant and i tell the kids they have to apologize to FK, and they agree. when FK comes in, the partner in crime immediately goes up to him and apologizes in a sincere fashion. FK accepts the apologize and then they read a comic book together and the whole thing is very heartwarming. KWHH takes this opportunity to suddenly become very serious about his studies and decides to immerse himself in his homework.

soon it is almost closing time, and i remind KWHH that he must apologize and that his time is running out. but he still maintains that he MUST
complete his homework. after a year and a half of slacking off, his homework is now a top priority. eventually i see that FK is leaving and i demand that KWHH go apologize. so he goes over to FK and mumbles something that kind of sounds like "i'm sorry," but overall the apology is pathetic. and my favorite kid and i both know it.

after FK leaves i reiterate to KWHH how disappointed i am not only in his actions, but in his lame apology. but what can you do?


Peonys said...

From this story I feel a bit dissappointed in the library system that they cannot bring the card to your library through the inter-library loan system. It wouldn't cost anything and it would make this child's life much easier... and more likely to take things out of the library.

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

in defence of my library system, at the time this incident occured, i hadn't thought about them sending the card over from central, so i do not know if that is something they do or don't do.

rowan said...

oooh wait...i thought Kid Who Hates Hoboes and Favorite Kid were buddies, sorta? They always seemed to get along in previous posts. What happened? That is both sad and kinda horrible.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

Oh this was so sad to read. I wonder if KWHH is going to be an ongoing problem to FK now that you're gone. I certainly hope not.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

BTW I just read the newsletter, I love the kids poetry (and your touching little note good bye!)