It’s stupid season…

I don’t generally like to rant, but on thins occassion I just don’t feel that it can be truly avoided. I am generally patient, and try to be understanding… I had put in a request for an audiobook at the local public library – back in June. The item in question was “lost” and was having to be ordered, but apparently no one had been pushing for it for a while. I follow up on this request in late August, only to find that the request card from June had disappeared. I had requested another audiobook at the same time (same author/series), that was in a similar state… having to be replaced.

Ok, I can understand the card getting misplaced by someone because they were a bit overzealous in performing their duties and, despite there being two similar sounding titles for different books. Elements of my penmanship may be questionable, and while I can understand it, it’s a bit frustrating.

I spoke with the ladies at the circulation desk upon discovering the “missing card”, when we filled out a new request, and placed it at the front of the list. Neither title was available yet (as I said, they had been lost and were being reordered), but they were showing as “In Transit” or “In Processing” – they must have arrived but just not ready for circulation yet. Yeah!

This library has a computer-based card catalog, which is accessible from their website. I have periodically been checking on these two items, as the request has been in since June. Impossible as it may seem, I visit the site one day to find that both items are available. Since I was told that I was first on the list for one of the titles, Imagine my surprise to find that I did not receive the customary “Your book is waiting” cards. Better yet, I find out that the title that I was supposedly first on the list for had been checked out – and not to someone else that was waiting!
It gets better… the other title that I had been waiting for, when I found out that I was next on that list, the item is placed on the shelf instead of being tagged and held at the front desk. I got to have the privilege of carrying the item to the desk and asking, “I just wanted to check on the status of a hold. The system showed it as checked in.” “Sorry, it’s not back here,” they replied, as I was holding it in my hand.

Basically, it boils down to the fact that their computer system has issues – only one hold can be in at a time for someone, or the flags don’t always show up when there are holds, or just faulty layouts where it becomes difficult for people to find and enter the proper information. The only other information that has ever been figured from my numerous visits and conversations in trying to figure why so many people can be giving out “wrong” information (“We are constantly training new people,” I was told. – Funny, but I’ve seen and been talking to the same people on all of my visits) I have come to only one logical conclusion: as the days get shorter, the stupid gene starts going crazy and causes rampant loss of common sense and the cold cuts off blood flow to the brain. Any other thoughts?

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