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#30960 - 07/07/04 03:06 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
MamaAlanna
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 262
Loc: Maryland

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While I miss the old card catalogs (and as shrew said, the probability that I'd find some neat thing as well as what I was looking for) I'm not sorry that my county library system went to computers. They didn't have a card catalog -- they had catalog books! Yes, bound hardback volumes, that they updated every couple of years. New books? Forget it. If you couldn't find them on the shelf, you were SOL, because the staff couldn't find them either. Bleah! :p
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#30961 - 07/07/04 04:55 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
miercoles
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 877
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

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My university library still stamps the books, but I get receipts from the library. The receipts are useless, because if I don't lose them, I'll forget which of the books listed I renewed.

However, the online services of my library are awesome -- I can request and renew books online -- so I just wait for the reminder email which is sent three days before the due date.

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#30962 - 07/07/04 06:34 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
voiceofreason
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 1257
Loc: Brookline, MA, USA

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Ooh, reminder emails! That would save me a lot of dimes.
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#30963 - 07/07/04 06:46 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Catness
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 1863
Loc: Chicago, Illinois

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My library sends out reminder e-mails (or regular postal mail if you choose) when hold requests come in and about four days before an item is due.

It's wonderful.

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#30964 - 07/07/04 08:10 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
miercoles
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 877
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

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I just tried the self check-out at the library for the first time tonight. I'd never even noticed it before, because usually I'm picking up a book on hold. But tonight I was in a rush, and there was a long line at the desk, so it was very quick to go to the self-service station.

Has anyone else tried this? What do you think? I'm not particularly social, but it felt weird to go to the library and not interact with anyone. I think part of me is like Francie Nolan, and hoping that the librarians recognize me.

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#30965 - 07/07/04 09:10 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ria Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/01/01
Posts: 497
Loc: Massachusetts, USA

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I loved the self-checkout at the library I went to in California. I never ever went through manned checkout stations. I grew up in a small town where I felt very self-conscious about what books I checked out, so I liked the anonymity of no one knowing what I had decided to read.
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#30966 - 07/07/04 09:32 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
sunflow
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1156
Loc: Brighton, UK

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Ria, that sounds wonderful, especially since the books I check out of the library are the ones I'm not sure I want to buy yet, for one reason or another. Until I decide if I like a book, I don't necessarily want to be associated with it. This goes double for times when I'm checking out a book by right-wing conservatives -- I want to know what they're up to, but I always feel like I should explain why I'm reading it.

Plus, that would ensure that I never again had to check out an especially violent copy of The Preacher (with a cover to match) from a woman who resembles my grandmother.

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#30967 - 07/08/04 07:21 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/27/00
Posts: 3901
Loc: Funkytown

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Man, I would love a self-checkout. That would rock. Then, among other things, nobody could police me taking out more books per subject than allowed. Mwa-ha-ha!

Seriously, I am the person self-checkouts were invented for. I love the one at the grocery store. The less interaction I have to have with strangers and employees of other businesses, the better.

I also would love e-mail reminders of due dates. God, I would love that.

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#30968 - 07/08/04 07:47 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Promethea
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 957

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They have those in my local libraries (plural correct; I frequent about four regularly as they're all fairly near). My one concern about them is that I hope they're not used to cut back on library assistants. If they caught on, could they be used to justify having less staff on each shift? I don't want to contribute to that, but maybe I'm just being paranoid.
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#30969 - 07/08/04 08:40 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Happy Birthday dazey
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 941
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland

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 Quote:
My one concern about them is that I hope they're not used to cut back on library assistants.
Promethea: in my experience, that's exactly what they're about. I was made redundant (from an academic library, not a public one) in favour of self-issue machines, a couple of years ago. Not that self-issue machines can recommend books, or tell you where to find things, or fix the computer or photocopier you've broken, or issue the non-standard size books that the machines choke on... it's not that I'm still bitter, you understand, of course - it was exactly the kick up the arse I needed to get a job where I was accorded some value.

Or perhaps I am still bitter.

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