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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Big Bad Witchiepoo

Poor Parents! Some of them seem to only listen when we send out the overdue notices. Come on… I’m not really the big bad beast or even Witchiepoo . I have been telling your children to bring back their books every single visit. 

I’m sorry if the overdue note that went home with report cards is the first you’ve heard of this book. Didn’t you get the notes we sent every other week? How about the phone messages? I’m so sorry. 

Yes, my records show your child checked out that book on Monday in January at 10:23 which is exactly when the schedule says your child’s entire class was in for booktalks and checkouts. I’m sorry that your child never brought the book home. Would showing you the front cover image help trigger any hidden memories?

Do you really want to know the stories your dear hearts have been telling me? 

I’m sure mom’s boyfriend didn’t try to sell the books for quick cash. (only because it was torn & wouldn’t be worth much)
Auntie’s car got stolen with the library book inside? Isn’t that amazing because you told me Granny’s car was stolen last month with that book? (They were books #1 and #2 in a series, what are the odds?)
Uncle dropped it in the lake while you were fishing? At 5 a.m. on a school day?
The babysitter got mad at your dad for being late and tore it up? The same book she oohed and aahed about when she dropped by to visit me during break?
I really don’t think you tore out the pages to burn as fuel since you didn’t have any ‘lectricity because your best friend already told me she was over at your house watching that tv movie last night in surround sound HD. 

I promise. I won’t believe everything they say if YOU don’t believe everything they say about school. 

Ask the students. Here’s the truth. They will tell you that I am really sweet, loving, gentle, kind, motivational, bossy, smart, even funny. I help them find what they want (unless I’m on a Pokemon rant jumping up and down telling them that I threw out all the Pokemon books because they were driving me up the wall). I teach them how to do things so they can do them without me someday. I even give them 2nd, 3rd, 42nd chances to bring back their overdue books.

But, let’s face it. Someone pays me a salary to try to take care of the "stuff" taxpayers money is spent on. I have a responsibility to try to teach citizenship skills, also, and that means teaching your child to be responsible. Responsible is such a nasty word to some people. I’d like your children to know that it’s okay to be responsible. Even for our mistakes. 

I make them. Yes, I did find 11 books out of 271 overdues right there on the shelf and they weren’t even checked in. Yes, I looked through most of the 12,000 books and I’d made a mistake. I’m responsible. I apologized and tried to make it right. 

In the end we all make choices on what we believe. Either Mrs. Chen is the worst witchiepoo at report card time when overdues magically appear or she’s just doing the best she can as your child’s librarian. Come in and see for yourself. I do have to warn you… Many parents that come in to check us out become volunteers when they see our workload. Come on in. We put away 3 carts of nonfiction books Monday morning, I’m sure we could use your help today.