Toronto Public Library rant

Heard on Twitter today that David Foster Wallace died. I confess that I have never heard of him before, so I went to Wikipedia article first, and then to Toronto Public Library page to order some of his books. I selected a book and pressed the “Place on hold” button, but instead of seeing the usual page, I got a “User blocked” message. WTF, thought I. Went to my account and saw that I have been charged over $40 for a “damaged” book “(“Blue Ocean Strategy”). I know what they mean – I had accidentally spilled some water on the book on question, and the cover got slightly warped. However, the book is still perfectly readable, the spine intact, all pages present, no markings etc. It is unjust as hell to charge me the entire price of the book. I will probably end up paying the damned money and let them choke on it, but only if they give me the book back. It’s only fair, isn’t it?

UPDATE: They charged me $41.95 for a used book, and you can buy a brand new one at for CDN$21.39. This is a bold-faced robbery, that’s what it is.

UPDATE UPDATE. Found the relevant library rules. Now THIS is a bold-faced robbery.

What the rule says What it means in plain human language
Replacement in kind – or substitution – for lost or damaged materials is not accepted. We will not allow you to replace the book with an identical one you buy elsewhere.
In the event that items are damaged, the Toronto Public Library reserves the right to determine the amount of repair or replacement charges. We will charge you as much as we want, twice as much as the book costs if we want to, even if the real damage is negligible
The Toronto Public Library reserves the right to retain library materials even in cases where full replacement cost has been paid. We can have our cake and eat it rip you off and keep the book, just because we can, HAR HAR HAR!

4 Responses to “Toronto Public Library rant”

  1. Online bookstore rant (a comparative study of online bookstores) « Tania Samsonova’s Blog Says:

    […] bookstore rant (a comparative study of online bookstores) After the emotional ordeal of yesterday (no, seriously, how do you like that? I have been a loyal member for about 9 years, never lost or […]

  2. End of the library story « Tania Samsonova’s Blog Says:

    […] of the library story The end of this story: I went to the library today and talked the librarian into halving the charge (down to $20). They […]

  3. Jack R Says:

    You think that’s bad? I returned (RETURNED!!) a book, on time only to find out that they lost the f@#*ing thing over the Christmas holidays, claiming that I never returned it. They actually had the gall to charge me $53 for a book that retails at $19! I am now barred from borrowing books from the TPL until the issue is resolved. Right, like I would ever bother with their asinine service again. It’s my word against theirs. What can I do? I absolutely refuse to pay for their idiocy. These people are such f@#*ing imbeciles!

  4. Visda Says:

    I will never take a library book with me on a trip EVER again! Based on what I read here, (great information; thanks for sharing, Tania), I am already dreading what is awaiting me!

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