Apr 11, 2010

Library Fun

For those of us who live in Vail, the closest library is at Harrison Road and Golf Links Road. It is 14 miles and 30 minutes away. The cost for the round trip is one gallon of gas and an hour of your time.  The library is not on the way to anything and it is not by anything. Vail residents do not take a trip to the library lightly.

Now if we lived in Maricopa County, it would be different. They have gone digital. You can now check out a book, rent a movie, or listen to a song all from the comfort of your own home. When you want to rent a book, you can download it digitally and read it on an e-book reader.  Movies and music are played through the Overdrive Media Console installed on your home computer. But here' s the best part (from their website): The library is easy to use, accessible from your computer, and you never have to worry about losing your book and accruing overdue fees. Oh Halleluiah!

I bet Aaron Henson wished he had checked out his movie digitally. Last year, this nineteen-year old borrowed the movie, House of Flying Daggers from his local library. Now to understand the full impact of this story you have to know something about nineteen-year old youth.  Most young men his age never check out movies from the library. That is not cool. Instead, they spend $3.99 renting the movie from Blockbuster. But this young man is different. He actually went to the library and checked out the movie for free. We should be rewarding this behavior.

But the Littleton, Colorado Library doesn t agree. When Aaron didn t return the DVD, they notified the court system. A summons was issued for a hearing and Aaron was requested to show up in court on January 14th to explain his behavior. Unfortunately, Aaron hadn t received the summons because he had moved. On January 25th, when he was pulled over for speeding, the police noticed that there was a warrant out for his arrest. It took eight hours in jail before the courts realized that Aaron had already returned the DVD.  I bet next time he rents from Blockbuster!

Maybe I m being too harsh here. Maybe the Littleton Library was fed up with people not returning books and movies. Maybe the court system is the only legal recourse they have.  But it really irks me when the punishment outweighs the crime. But in a way, we all have a seriously overdue fine. We have been summoned to Court and some day we will have to account for our behavior. The punishment may seem really over the top. But God knows we can' t pay the fine and so He sent Jesus to pay it for us. He returned the lost items and paid the debt. And God cancelled our arrest warrant forever. Not even the Maricopa County Library can do that! Pastor David Hook