My Library Rant

>> 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!


~Jennifer~ January 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

That is such a strange and useless system. I usually get all of my library books through holds, which I place late at night in the comfort of my home. If I had to drag my 3 kids up and down the stacks looking for a paperback copy they may or may not have, I would never use the library. Crazy.

Wanda April 27, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

Found you on Book Blogs and thought I'd say hi :)

LOVE my local library (without which I'd be poorer than a church mouse) and thankfully, they do indeed catalouge their paperbacks! Can't believe your's doesn't, weird! So, what do they do about purchase suggestions when they don't know everything they have in the first place?

T April 28, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

Hi Wanda!

Thanks for visiting! That's a good point you bring up about purchasing - I'm not sure what they do but....

another case in point. My daughter had 2 books out and they were due on a Thursday. I returned one, forgetting she had 2, and then I asked my hubby to return the second one because it was due. He did. Its a paperback and now, they say its still overdue. Oh really??? And I wonder what the hell book it is. Frustrating.

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