The Library: Executive Functioning Skills



“Hey hun?”  he called from the office.

“What?” I yelled back over the kid noises; screaming, yelling, and non-stop whining that has become the background noise of my life.

“Are the library books due yet?”  There was a long pause.

“I don’t think so?” I replied, not sure, but hoping I was right.


I’m organized …. mostly!

If you come to my house you’ll see it’s organized and mostly controlled chaos.  You’ll see craft materials neatly sorted, Legos in their sorted bins (mostly) and everything has a place.  If you’re over here, then obviously I’ve cleaned up the massive train track that swallowed up my floor, put all the stray books away that flew the nest, and tidied up.  I am an organized person.  It’s one of my strengths.

So, it pains me to admit this: I suck at managing the library books.  So much.  It doesn’t matter how many times I put it in my calendar, get a reminder email, or make plans to go at the SAME time EVERY week! it still falls through the gaps in my executive functioning abilities.


Let’s be fair about this

To be fair, our library doesn’t exactly make it easy with their 2 week checkout limit.  The automatic reminder email comes 2 days before the books are due.  You can only renew online, with the barcode off your library card, logged into your library account.  Book fines are $.20 per book, per day, even for children’s books.  A stack of children’s books can reach $5-10 overdue fines a DAY (ask me how I know this?)  because they’re so thin and I have a hard time saying no to  “can I pleeeeaaaase get this one too?”

Still, I have no one to blame but myself.  I simply cannot manage the library books without incurring massive fines every single darn time.  It’s disappointing.  It’s frustrating.  And it’s why we don’t utilize the library as much as we should.


Not quite enough

I have managed to set up a system where all the library books stay together.  It’s the only reason we haven’t paid to replace a book.  Yet.

Better still, I’ve stayed on top of paying the fines so that the library doesn’t send me to collections when I hit the $20 mark.  Our library is pretty hard-core about debt.   Which I wouldn’t mind if I was actually helping to fund the library, but no.  Those hefty fines and collection agencies come courtesy of our county government.  The library doesn’t get a dime.


A new year …. a new failure

Every new school year I have grand plans on how to utilize the library better.  Every school year, I flop.  I rack up fines.  I swear I’ll do better.  And I fail again, and again, and again.   I just can’t.

I’ve come to admit that I simply cannot adult on this specific task.  I don’t know how to teach my kids to overcome their executive functioning issues because I can’t even return a library book.  How’s that for a parenting fail?


If you’re curious, I have 9 days left, and a $4 fine due.    ::sigh::

I really do suck at this.


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