Years ago, a friend of mine adopted a dog from the pound. The dog, a beautiful German shepherd/Doberman mix, had clearly been mistreated. The first time I met him, I greeted him with a happy "hello!" and put out my hand to pet him. He was so frightened he wet the carpet. Other dogs so treated turn vicious.
Over the years, I've gone to a lot of conferences, workshops, and professional events. I know this because recently I ran out of closet space. The problem? Book bags.
Book bags, or "swag," come with virtually every event librarians go to. Book bags are to librarians what T-shirts and baseball caps are to sports fans. When my closet door would no longer close, it's because I now have a couple of dozen of these bags.
For several years, I did 50 pushups, 50 abdomen "crunches" and 50 leg lifts every single day. It took me a minute and a half.
Part of the way I kept myself at it was by asking myself, "in 24 hours, you don't have a minute and a half for exercise?"
But then, with frightening suddenness, I suffered such intense shoulder pain that I could no longer raise my arms even to shampoo. I couldn't pull my wallet out of my back pocket.
The doctor told me it was tendonitis, no doubt brought on by my brief but intense daily regimen. Age may have had something to do with it, too.
I was bitter. It was like the time I threw out my back in my sleep. When you're doing something good (exercise is good, sleep is righteous), it seems to me you shouldn't be punished for it.
But there's the universe for you.
These days, I'm trying to put together a new system -- stress plus stretch. (My doctor prescribed physical therapy, not indolence.)
The reason I'm trying again is simple. When it comes to your body, you have just two choices: use it or lose it.
Which brings me to my actual point this week. Reading is the same way. The more you do, the better you get. The less you do, the worse you get.
This week I'd like to do a roundup of some library financial issues.
First, effective June 1, we doubled the fines for overdue materials. We continue to offer a few days grace for such materials -- and if you give us your email address, we'll even remind you to bring things back the day before they are due.
In brief, fines for most materials went from a nickel a day to a dime a day. Our fines do max out for most materials at $5 per item. While this probably won't be a big money maker for us, we hope it will encourage people to help us keep our materials moving. There's a lot of demand for them these days.