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#31010 - 02/17/06 02:42 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Gráinne ni Mhaille

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Cork, Ireland

R = rand, I'd say.
#31011 - 04/19/06 09:52 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Gráinne ni Mhaille

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 17
Loc: Rochester, NY

"I have returned and found to my horror that you have to pay R3 per book you'd like to hold or reserve. R3! Paying for the right to reserve! What has the world come to?"

When library funding is cut, perks and extras have to go. Please don't blame the librarians. As a group, we strongly advocate on many levels for adequate funding.

#31012 - 04/20/06 03:10 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ching Shih

Registered: 11/24/04
Posts: 208
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa

Originally posted by Pflaume:
liz_isabella: What currency is 'R'?
I never actually came back to this thread after venting, but yes, Snasta was right, R is rand. It's about R6 to the US $ at the moment, so that's what, R18 per book?

AHarrington, I really feel bad for librarians having to take the heat from annoyed patrons, when it's really not their fault. Like I said, the South African library system is very underfunded and understaffed. Most libraries are maintained entirely by volunteers, making for awkward hours and very uneven quality of service. But the good ones are like gold.
It occurred to me lately that nothing has occurred to me lately.

#31013 - 08/12/06 04:26 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Gráinne ni Mhaille

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 25

Here's a pretty spectacular example of a good library gone bad. I've recently moved to Indianapolis, and since I got here the renovation and expansion of the downtown library has regularly been front page news in the local papers.

It's been a huge fiasco going way over budget and years past the estimated time frame. Fingers have been pointed, lawsuits have ensued. A tax hike is likely to follow, and budget cuts and a hiring freeze have been instated for libraries across the county-wide system.

It's rather depressing to see what seemed like a good idea go so horribly awry.

#31014 - 09/05/06 09:59 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ching Shih

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

Originally posted by cocojosie:
My local library has been transformed into a hairdresser's and a liquor store. A liquor store owned by the state, I might add, since that is the way things are done in Sweden.
So you can shave your head in mourning and then get drunk?

#31015 - 09/05/06 03:28 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ching Shih

Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 451

Don't be silly: everyone knows you get drunk first, and then shave your head.

I'm assuming the library was also owned by the state? Did they decide that liquor was more of a 'public good' than libraries?

#31016 - 11/14/06 01:20 PM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ching Shih

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

Grr. I just discovered that a book I have on hold is expiring today, so I called the public library and asked if they could hold it an extra day. No, because apparently they have this automated system and it has to go back to its original library or the computer will explode or something.

It seems like a silly system - now I have to re-request the book, which makes more work for them. And also, the person I spoke to was very curt and unfriendly, and made me feel like an idiot for asking. They say it never hurts to ask, but sometimes it kinda does.

#31017 - 03/29/07 08:36 AM Re: When good libraries go bad ....
Ching Shih

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 175

Oh good, a place to rant about my library.

I'm a grad student at an Ivy League university. One would think that said Ivy League University would have an amazing library. One would be wrong. Our university library is a joke. A sick, twisted shell of a research library. Every time I go to the stacks to find a few books, at least one of them is missing -- completely vanished from the shelves. I then have to ask the librarian to "trace" the book for me before I am allowed to request it from another library, which means losing a week or more of time.

Many of the books I do manage to find on the shelves have been written in, extensively, some almost to the point of illegibility. My colleagues who work on 17th and 18th century material tell me they regularly find their rare books on the shelves in the open stacks instead of properly stored in the rare books room.

I am astonished by how bad this library is! When I was in high school I worked at my Local State University library during the summers, and it was part of my job to check the returned books to see if they'd been written in. If they had, I erased any markings in pencil and fined the person for staff time. If they'd been extensively written in, or marked in pen, the person was charged the replacement cost of the book. Needless to say, few people were dumb enough to mark up books they took out of Local State U. No such system seems to be in place here.

Is it too much to ask that a library take care of its books?

#88020 - 06/19/09 08:22 PM Re: When good libraries go bad .... [Re: AlchemyGirl]
Happy Birthday CaitlinM2

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 457
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area

Here is an article about Ray Bradbury doing fundraising to save California libraries in danger of closing because of budget problems. He's a hoot, I must say, and good for him!
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