It was one of the first things I did when I moved to South Granville - get a library card.
I suppose when I applied for it I had a standard form to fill out, likely including my name, address and a list of all allergies. I remember getting a card and I must've used that card periodically (get it). However at some point use ended and sporadic sitings took their place. But god knows where and god knows when. Was it in my wallet, with my defunct UK bank cards or tucked in an ink stained pocket of a messenger bag?
Checking books out of the library has changed in even the nine years I've been in Vancouver. As if the local branch wasn't convenient enough, now I can tap some digital keys on my mobile, enter a code and reserve a hard copy, or if my laziness factor is exceptionally high - an ebook. That way not only can I be as noisy as I want, but I can read a book via iPad and I don't even need to leave the confines of my apartment. Which means no interaction with humans and ultimately, a happier me.
I wandered into the Firehall Branch last week and was told in order to get a new card with an existing account it would cost me $2.00. A steal. The fact that I could've opened a completely new account and it wouldn't have cost a dime is beside the point. I rattled off my new address and my amended allergy list and I was off to the literary races. In stereotypical librarian fashion, the woman that assisted me was stern with very little patience and even less personality. She told me I had a late fee and asked if I wanted to pay it now. Keeping in mind I think the last time I visited the VPL was in 2006. The way she delivered the question I was half expecting several hundred dollars in fines. Very seriously she said "Two dollars and sixty cents." - which included my new card. Thank god these things don't accrue interest. And that right there is why the library is awesome.
At any rate, I've got two e-books on order (via iPad) and am waiting with bated breath for an e-mail alerting me to their availability. How lucky are we that we have a VPL branch right here in the neighborhood - not that it really matters.