When you become a parent, your local library becomes a beyond-valuable resource in your life.
The library gives you a free place to take your stir-crazy kid. It offers them stimulation, special programming, games, movies, comfortable bean-bag chairs, and, yes, books. Wonderful shelves and shelves of books that can introduce your child to some of the most amazing literature in history and give you a break after a long, ugly day of parenting.
My local librarians are the gatekeepers to that experience, full of smiles and enthusiastic recommendations for which I’m consistently grateful. But, I will tell you right now, I keep secrets from them.
The deep, dark secrets of a library parent who occasionally does things he’s not exactly proud of, and I don’t want them to find out for fear of being banished from my comfortable library paradise.
To help unburden my guilty soul, here are 11 shameful things that I will NEVER admit to my local librarian…
1. We take library books on vacation.
2. On more than one occasion, I have walked in on my kid reading a library book in the bathtub and I just walked away like I didn’t see anything.
3. Sometimes I put multiple books on hold — often books that had to be shipped in from other libraries by the miracle of inter-library loan — and then forget to pick them up. When this happens, I avoid coming to the library for weeks at a time. When I eventually come back, I avoid eye contact with the staff for at least a month.
4. We scratched the “Megamind” DVD. Then we returned it like nothing happened. We are ANIMALS.
5. Our family has multiple library cards and I pick which one we use based on which card doesn’t currently have a fine.
6. There was a good solid year where every time we visited the children’s section, I hid a particularly annoying shark book that I didn’t want my kid to check out anymore. I know that you had to re-shelve it every time I did it and I’m sorry.
7. My daughter dog-ears pages and she learned it by watching me.
8. Your selection of celebrity “Read” posters could be so much better. It’s like you’re pandering to, well, kids, and ignoring all of the David Bowie and LeVar Burton posters that would make me so much happier.
9. I stole a couple of the little golf pencils you keep near the catalog computers because I thought they were adorable.
10. My child has done horrible, unforgivable things in the children’s section bathroom. I simply can’t apologize enough.
11. I never, ever had a library this cool when I was a kid and it makes me jealous.
What things are you hiding from your local librarian? Share with us in the comments below.