>> Friday, January 22, 2010
I love my little local library branch, St Vital Library. I visited it as a child growing up and its the same branch that I now take my kids too! My daughter loves it there and when we go to the library, she always chooses this one first over any other branch that is nearby. Its a comfort thing, I'm pretty sure. There is talk of closing this branch down as they have built newer and bigger libraries in the community and if that happens, both my daughter and I would be very sad to be sure. While there are other branches, we can walk to this one rather easily if we want too.
Having said all that, I have a problem with the Winnipeg Public Library in general. The complaint isn't coming for a novice library user either. Not only do I use the public library regularly and have since I was knee high to a grasshopper (well, okay, I still am knee high to a grasshopper, I'm just older) but I work in a library so I have some working knowledge of how things work in a library.
My problem? They don't catalogue their paperback books!! WTF?? Is that not totally stupid or is that just me? With the cost of books these days you would think they would *want* to know how many paperback copies of a title that they have so that if say the hardcover gets lost they can say "Oh, look, we have 3 paperback copies in the system, we don't really need to order a replacement" or "Gee, that patron has to wait a dog's age to get that book, she should place a hold on the paperback copy instead"....oh, that's right SHE CAN'T!!
Let me give you an example. The title The Arthurian Omen by G.G. Vandagriff. Do a search for it in the catalogue, I'll wait........(cue the Jeaopardy theme music........)
couldn't find it could ya? Yeah, neither could I. Now they *might* have it in paperback somewhere but I'll never know unless I stumble across it in a search through their paperback shelves. And...heaven forbid you take out a paperback and lose it...they can't tell you what book to look for, only the barcode because its not catalogued!!
Now I'm not expecting the library to have a copy of every book that I could possibly want as that's not a realistic expectation but I do think having paperbacks catalogued while it would prove to be time consuming (they are already talking about contracting out their cataloging or so I've heard), is not unrealistic at all. If sooner rather than later you're going to make me travel further and further to get to a library then make it worth my while and make it possible for me to find what I need so I can utilize your services the way they were meant to be used!