You know all of those blogs and sites and self-help guides you consulted at the start of the year, the ones that advised you to get your closets in order, your shelves tidied, and your whole life decluttered?
You followed them to the letter but then ... that one library book. The overdue one, the novel that's sat under a pile of magazines on the coffee table for too many weeks. Or months. The book you're sure to owe a bundle on, the day you take it back to your local LA Public Library branch. You know you really should, and it is absolutely the right thing to do, but, oh golly, how ever much will you owe?!
Here's how much you'll owe, if you return your overdue materials to LAPL between Monday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 14: Zero dollars and zero cents.
Zero, with a capital Z, then an e, r, and o. No cash owed, done and thank you and good day.
What to do, where to go and what to see
"I found these in a closet. Sorry," said one patron who returned books to the library after they were 33 years overdue.
"LAPL Misses You" is the program, and the all-is-forgiven upshot is this: Our library would like those late books and materials back, thank you very much, and all library card holders have been kindly granted a sizable, nothing-owed window to return them.
Surely you know some fiction-obsessed SoCaler out there is just waiting to check out that novel that's currently keeping your nightstand warm, yes? Surely you do.
Yes, you absolutely can start using your library card once you've returned the overdue book or books. Yes, the materials should be undamaged. Yes, there's a whole FAQ, so pore over the fine print about how this fairly rare event will work (a few fees will not be waived, so read the necessary information ahead of time).
Does this happen every day? Nope, no way, not even every year, so don't put this one off, thinking you'll just catch it next time. This is it, the real deal, the time to make good with one of our city's lit-loving jewels, our library system, and all of our neighbors who may want the very books we've been dithering over for lo these many weeks.
Lo these many months? Years? Wipe the slate clean. Start anew. Use your library card again. Set the clock back, or forward, if you prefer, and get with what all of those declutter blogs are recommending. Your neighbors, thousands of them, will thank you, and LAPL shall, too.