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#30990 - 01/02/05 12:23 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
gwenworld
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 90
Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

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Y'all have probably seen this, but in case you haven't -
McSweeney's "Dispatches from a Public Librarian":
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/

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#30991 - 04/27/05 11:26 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Promethea
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 957

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Ooh, OOH. I am so mad. I've just been to my local library and they've done this ... thing where along the shelves, every fifth or so book has its cover pulled out so that it flaps alongside the spines of the others. It's hard to describe, but basically you can see a bunch of covers, obscuring all the spines of the other books. I HATE IT! I was looking specifically for something so I had to go along bending back the covers (and, incidentally, this can't be good for them, I bet a bunch fall off) to squint at the spines behind. They've done it with ALL the paperbacks apart from the sci fi and crime which are in racks and also with several shelves of hardback fiction. Is this a new library trend? Does it really work to get people to notice certain books? Is it aimed at those who can only judge books by their covers?
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#30992 - 04/27/05 06:37 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Rain
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 238

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Wow, that is horrible! I can't even imagine why they'd do that. Even in bookstores when they show some books with the cover out, they don't hide the spines of other books behind them.

If I were you, I'd ask them why they did it. You know, in a reasonable tone and everything, but I'd probably also point out the downfalls you mentioned.

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#30993 - 05/13/05 03:57 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
CheshireCat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 158
Loc: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA

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Not everyone who works in a library is a librarian. When I was a library assistant, only three people had the credential, the reference librarian, the children's librarian, and the branch manager. Mostly for the reasons dazey mentions, college level skills are not required for circulation duties, and the pay is so awful that college graduates generally would not accept it. I was the only assistant with a bachelor's degree. I lasted five months.
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#30994 - 06/11/05 03:50 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Molly Malone
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 25
Loc: Easten USA

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My Mother was a Children's Librarian and in order to avoid paying for a baby-sitter I went to the Library every day for several summers with her. One "job" she gave me was to insert the new cards into the card catalogue. I really hated it. So, I admit, couldn't be happier to see the computer system come into vogue.

I would love an automated check out. Sometimes the commentary made by the check out crew can be really inane...and often it makes me want to avoid certain people who are doing the checking out. I do realize they are trying to be friendly, but it can feel like a waiter saying, "Yes the clam sauce is great, if you like that kind of stuff"...

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#30995 - 08/07/05 12:26 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
FeelsLikeFriday
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Hancock, MI, USA

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I work at the local public library- although I love my job, and want to persue my master's degree in library science, I have plenty of gripes! Mostly, I get crabby with the patrons who only come in to use the internet. Although I think it's a great service, a lot of them abuse it, and us workers, in turn. They are just too bossy with us, and I hate that.

And the director at my library is a big dumbhead. That's all I'll say about that!

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#30996 - 08/07/05 09:52 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ekaterina_dup1
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 238
Loc: USA

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Molly Malone:

I would love an automated check out. Sometimes the commentary made by the check out crew can be really inane...and often it makes me want to avoid certain people who are doing the checking out.
They just finished installing an automated checkout at one of my local libraries, thank goodness!

The commentary gets to me sometimes too. Most recently, I was checking out C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain. The clerk told me that I had a 60 cent fine on my account. I didn't realize that, but I believed her, so I handed her a dollar bill. In trying to help me recollect the fine, she told me the titles of two books on depression that I had checked out for a paper I was writing in 2002. I think she felt so bad about the titles, in conjunction with the current book I was checking out three years later, that she waived the fee for me!

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#30997 - 08/09/05 05:53 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Jerusha Mac
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/05/05
Posts: 65
Loc: SF East Bay

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We have self check but I barely ever use it, since I'm usually picking up a couple of books I've put on hold. Like Silicon Snake Oil just now. We have email notification too, which I like and online renewal which I love .

But that said, I miss card catalogs. I hate that you have to know the exact name in order to find a book or an author.

I miss thumbing through other cards for books in that section, in running across a book that looked interesting.

Or as Shrew said:
 Quote:
When I used the card catalogue, I used to find so many cool books that I wasn't searching for. First, there would be the related topics in the catalogue itself, and then there would be the books in the same section of the library when I went to find whatever book I needed.

If all I do is go online, search for a particular book, reserve it, pick it up, and leave, then I miss all of that great browsing and all of those amazing "accidental" books.
And today the library in Livermore CA starts the renovations to the $40,000 sculpture outside their doors that misspelled Shakespeare, Einstein and Michelangelo. (I think only 11 misspellings out of 116, but still.)

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#30998 - 09/14/05 08:35 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Vertiginous Annie
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 38

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It seems as I move, my local libraries get worse and worse. Sigh.
My current library is not bad, really - but small. There is only a 1/2 stack of sci-fi/fantasy, compared to a full wall of bodice-ripping romance. WHY? And the fiction stacks... sigh again. The libraries of my youth you could get lost in.... but thank goodness for inter-library loans (the greater system is well-stocked).

But I must say, the most devestating library experience for me was in Franklin, MA (I used to live in the next town over). It was first public library in America, in a lovely building - but it was one of the worst-stocked, saddest things I've ever seen. It had a good DVD selection, and that's about all. Such a waste, so depressing. So many rooms, so few books.

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#30999 - 09/14/05 12:12 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
claudine
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/11/04
Posts: 76
Loc: new york

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In one library, the romance section was right next to the true crime section. It was disturbing.
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