I'm trying to make it through the year with as few library fines as possible. No fines at all would be ideal, but there are those weeks where something goes unexpectedly wrong. It doesn't make sense knocking myself out to drive 100 miles round trip to avoid a couple of dollars in fines. It does, however, make sense to keep track of the date and renew things on time and give myself a bit of an extra cushion so that I don't have ten books that absolutely have to go back today.
Our schedule has changed and I'm not always up in town on the same day every week. But guys, I'm making this work! So far in 2017 I haven't had a single fine.
And I've discovered the neatest Chrome extension ever -- Library Extension. Look what I see when I look up a book on Amazon:
There, in the upper right hand corner, it tells me whether my local library system has the book. I'm usually good enough to check before buying, but this makes it even easier.
The system isn't perfect. I've had no end of trouble with the new online card catalog, so I'm pretty sure it's to blame...or willing to blame it anyway if it's not. Sometimes it'll give me a different book with the same title. Or tell me a book isn't available if if actually is. But it's also helped me find a lot of books that I wouldn't have thought to check the library for.
I still buy plenty of books, but this helps stretch the budget.