Thursday, January 26, 2012


A few of you asked about the renewal issue, so: The library has no published policy of a renewal limit. They do have a limit of two renewals online, but usually, if you bring the book into the library they just check that you haven't destroyed it or anything and go ahead and renew it. (As long as no one has it on hold, of course.) This time, the guy* said "No, that has to come back," so I just assumed someone had put it on hold. But when I got home and went to the online catalog to put myself back on the list for it, the status was - and still is - "Shelving Cart" rather than "On hold for someone," which is what it has always otherwise said when a book is, you know, on hold for someone. So . . . maybe there was something else going on I couldn't see from the patron view of the catalog? Maybe he just decided I had too many books out and he would take that one back? No idea.

I'm not going to make an issue of it with management, for two reasons: 1) The librarians** at this library are known, both in my own experience and in general reputation, for being unfriendly and unhelpful, and 2) I try to keep a low profile there, because this library does have a policy against adults browsing the YA or children's sections, and I semi-blatantly ignore that. (I do always have a title in mind I can tell them I'm looking for if they challenge me.) So I don't want to complain about this incident if it will result in that guy and/or other library staff looking for an excuse to bar me from YA and children's. Because I love those sections!

* Not sure if he's a professional librarian or not.
** Here I do mean professional librarians; the teens who work circulation are delightful.


  1. wait what? they have a policy against adults browsing the YA and Children's sections in your library? WHY? :/

  2. I second that. WHY have that policy? What would it accomplish? Other than making me angry, that is?

  3. I hate to tell you this, but your library is seriously backwards-thinking. But you probably already knew that.

  4. As a librarian and a manager of circulation staff, this is exactly the sort of thing I would want to know about. If he did just take the book from you for no good reason, I would want to discuss this with him. It's entirely possible that he didn't realize that patrons could keep books longer than the renewal limit, in which case other patrons will suffer as well. I had a similar situation occur with one of my staff members, and it was only because I was at the desk at the same time as the transaction occurred that I was able to correct her and discuss it with her. I'm always upset when a patron doesn't receive good service, but even more so when I don't find out about it for a long time. If you don't mention this sort of thing to the managers, then things won't ever improve at this library.

    Also, as far as the "no adults allowed" policy, it is generally in place to protect kids and teens from predators and cover the library in case they have to ask someone to leave. If there's no policy to point to and no signs posted, the library can get in serious trouble. Generally speaking, as long as you are looking at the books and not at children (even if you are browsing and not looking for anything in particular), no one will say anything to you. And if they do, I would ask to speak to the director. You do pay taxes that support this library, and you have the same rights as other taxpayers to access all of the materials.