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April 4, 2010

A Moral Dilemma

This morning whilst out on a quest for hot-cross buns, my husband brought me home a moral dilemma. He’d found Don’t Tell the Grown-Ups: Subversive Children’s Literature by Alison Lurie in a box on the sidewalk, and he thought (quite correctly) that I’d like it. The only trouble was that it’s a Toronto Public Library book and it hasn’t even been discharged.

So, what to do? The book is stolen property, but I feel removed enough from the scene of the crime that I could let myself get away from profiting from it. But what kind of scoundrel allows a theft from the public library to go unrighted? Though would returning it cause undue paperwork for overworked librarians? I’ve looked this book up in the system, and there are eleven other copies– which don’t seem to include this one. Perhaps they’ve accepted that it’s gone for good, and so who am I to challenge that? If I decided to take it back anyway, where exactly would I take it? This book is from the Toronto Library’s “Travelling Branch”, which (I think) means I’d have to go chasing after the bookmobile…

5 thoughts on “A Moral Dilemma”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Whoa, hold the phone: “hot-*crust* buns”??? This is not my territory, you could tell me they’re called crucifix buns and I’d believe you, but in my limited experiences, they’re “hot *cross* buns”! Regional language strikes again? (they’re delicious, anyway!)

    Also, I would at least call the library about the book (after you read it), just for the interesting conversation I know would ensue.

    Happy Easter!

    1. Kerry says:

      It was a typo. Hot cross buns indeed they are (and they’re delicious, even with raisins). I have edited my entry. Sorry to disappoint!

      Also, I don’t WANNA call the library. What if they make me give the book back?

  2. Kristin says:

    If you looked it up in the system and you didn’t find it, it was probably already noted as a lost book and taken out of rotation. I’m not sure how you know that it wasn’t discharged (every library does it differently), but if it was lost, it wouldn’t have been discharged. It could very well have been paid for by the person who lost it. As a former librarian, I believe that if you can’t find it in the system, you can assume that it is now yours, with no guilt.

  3. Don’t tempt the library police. They’re nasty and vicious and have long, sharp teeth …

  4. Frances says:

    I’m inclined to think that the book was like a stray dog. It found you, and you will give it a cherished home. Win-win

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