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Tuesday, April 1


Save the environment and join your local library! That’s the saying, right? If not, it should be. As an adult I am a big fan of libraries, not only the book borrowing but also a place for children and adults to meet and be part of a community.

When we moved here we registered at the Library and got our card. Initially we borrowed books and movies regularly. I racked up couple overdue fines, as well. And then the borrowing slowed down, drastically. (I discovered we could access our old library database (from USA) online and can borrow books to read on our tablets. All around awesome. ) We eventually did find that the English movie and book selection was limited, hence the lack of borrowing.

Much later, we received a bill from the library. 10 Euros and 0.30 cents for overdue book. I inquired with the library about the fines was told the 10 Euro was due to the 0.30 cent fine. When asked to explain further, the librarian said the 0.30 cent fine was sent to our original address and the mail came back. So, they had to look up our information on the internal city database and resend the mail to the new (current) address. I remembered the older address the library had on file was at the hotel we spend far too long. Upon arriving in Germany, we registered at the Einwohneramt (registration office) and to obtain resident visas (and work visa for the husband). Upon moving (within or out of city or country), the registration office has to be notified. The government (and Germans) are strict about this. At the library, I realized many public (and maybe some private?) offices can access the database for resident information. This is where German efficiency makes sense though some non Germans have concerns about “being traced.“

What was most shocking was the 10 Euro fine for an overdue book; essentially the library is charging us for doing the work to find our new address on a database. Excessive.

The 10 euro fine isn’t significant (it's the principle) because the library is a great resource and the Nürnberg library has a cozy café attached. They serve homemade cakes and some salads, sandwiches and quiches with drinks; everything I’ve had was good.

This post is a mathematical analysis of what the husband and I believe happened as far as the library tracking down our new address and re-mailing the 0.30 cent fine with the added 10 Euro fine. If there is another possibility that you know of or have experienced, please let us know.


  1. Maybe it was a German April Fool's? Sorry friend, that does suck.

    1. I am pretty sure Germans aren't in-tuned with sarcasm. or any type of joking for that matter. sadly.