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#30970 - 07/08/04 03:42 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
voiceofreason
Ching Shih


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

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 Quote:
Originally posted by dazey:
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...
Heh -- my first thought on reading this: as far as performance on any of those tasks goes, most of my student circulation desk employees could easily be replaced by a self-issue machine. (Not really, though; they do a lot of shelving. And some of them are very good! Please don't be offended and quit! I'm sorry I'm such a bad manager!)

Also, I was going to post about how much fun it is to stamp things, and how I can't imagine why a library would want to give up on stamping books (except it can save a lot of time, which I appreciate when I'm in a long line at the public library, and there are always long lines at my public library) but I've put my arm down on the inkpad twice in the last half-hour and I think I'm beginning to understand.

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#30971 - 07/08/04 05:31 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
sunflow
Ching Shih


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

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I haven't had a book stamped in ages! My library does everything through bar codes and scanners, and prints a receipt of everything you check out. It's actually quite frustrating, because I always forget when things are due, and have to contantly check my account online. Also, I miss that satisfying "thump" of the stamp hitting the book.

I feel like a dolt for not thinking about the downsizing that auto-checkout machines might cause. Although I do prefer them (because I am frequently crabby and antisocial), I hate to support anything that could lead to fewer library jobs!

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#30972 - 07/09/04 07:31 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
VegetarianOnHiatus
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1089
Loc: Somerville, MA, USA

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My public library also recently switched to the all-computer receipt system. They used to check a book out on the computer, and also stamp a card with the due date and put in the pocket in the back of the book. Those cards made very handy bookmarks. These days all I get with my books is a printed receipt which is too flimsy to mark my place. I hate the things. I find them lying around and think, "I took out what? Did I return it? Dang!" At least they haven't gone to the self-issue machines. I hope they don't because the library employs high school students as check-out clerks, and I wish I'd had that job when I was in high school instead of taking orders and flipping burgers.
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#30973 - 07/10/04 10:33 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I'm all cranky and apprehensive about the fact that two of the books I returned to the library on July 1 are still listed as being checked out to me, and one of them was due the 1st. I need to take the rest of my books back tomorrow and see if I can straighten this out, but the library is all computerized now and I don't know how in the world I'll be able to prove that I returned them, especially since they're not kept in that branch - they were both inter-library loans.

This does not please me. I've been using the library frequently, and this is the first time I've had a problem. To make it even worse, it's volumes 3 & 4 or L.M. Montgomery's journals, which are out of print. And I know I returned them - I had 2 CDs and 4 books and those were definitely two of them. Did somebody forget to scan them back in or something?

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#30974 - 07/10/04 11:47 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Selena
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 720
Loc: Grand Bahama, Bahamas

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Yikes, FishDreamer! I hope they're able to track down your books.

A couple of months ago, a video I'd returned was still showing on my record, so I went in and pointed out the error to one of the clerks. She told me to check again at home, and I said that I would, even though I knew I'd returned it. I didn't feel up to kicking up more of a fuss at the time. The next time I checked my record, the video had been cleared, but I didn't hear back from the library saying that they'd made a mistake, or anything like that.

I'm paranoid about my interlibrary loans; I always take them straight to the desk to get them signed in.

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#30975 - 07/18/04 08:20 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Selena
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 720
Loc: Grand Bahama, Bahamas

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FishDreamer, did you get everything sorted out?
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#30976 - 07/18/04 09:43 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
anotherjen
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 50
Loc: Baltimore, MD

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Speaking of stamping books...

I worked at my university library when I was an undergrad and instead of the stamp we would put a sticker (sort of like a price sticker) on the corner of the back cover. Some of my patrons hated it saying that we were defacing the books and I had to agree... it looked horrible and left the book covers all sticky.

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#30977 - 07/18/04 09:58 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I did get it sorted. They sent someone up to check if the books were on the shelf because apparently neither of them were inter-library loans (so why they had little stickers on the front with other library names remains a mystery).

Lucky for me, both books were there. I have no idea what they would have done if the books were missing, but I was lucky this time. They took the overdue fines off my record and both librarians I talked to were mystified as to how two books could have been missed at check-in. This also fills me with apprehension, but at least it was all taken care of.

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#30978 - 07/20/04 05:14 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
MamaAlanna
Ching Shih


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

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 Quote:
Originally posted by FishDreamer:
both librarians I talked to were mystified as to how two books could have been missed at check-in. This also fills me with apprehension, but at least it was all taken care of.
Eh, that's easy to do. Whole stack of books to be checked in, your two in the librarian's hand, and someone distracts her. She sets them down and when she comes back (or someone else continues the job) thinks that they've been checked in.

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#30979 - 07/30/04 01:01 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
ProfessorMcSmartyPants
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Binghamton, NY

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"Eh, that's easy to do. Whole stack of books to be checked in, your two in the librarian's hand, and someone distracts her. She sets them down and when she comes back (or someone else continues the job) thinks that they've been checked in"

Just a point of clarification. Librarians have masters degrees and don't usually check out books. The people that you see at the check out desk are usually clerks (usually a civil service job) or student aides.

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