Libraries are wonderful places… magnificent buildings with a thousand adventures all waiting to to be explored, simply by pulling a destination from the shelves.
However, how they are managed, can sometimes be problematic. I have mentioned some frustrations with my local library before… and find the recent developments quite funny, in hindsight.
I had submitted a request for the Audio (CD) version of the latest book in the series – same series involved in the previous fiasco. There was already a waiting list for this new title – as I had already expected – when I put in my hold request. I browsed the shelves for other items, picking up a Neil Gaiman title (one of the Sandman graphic novel sequels – Endless Nights, I think).
After a few weeks, I return to book, and inquire about the status of the waiting list for the Audio title – just to find out where I am on the list. And they cannot find my card. Amazing. Unbelievable, is all I could think. This is the second hold request, for different books within the same series, and they have lost this one as well. We filled out another request, and I was told I would be put at the front of the request list (apparantly, I would have been the next in line, based on when my first request had been submitted).
Another few weeks go by, and I get a postcard from the library – “the title I had requested is being held for me until [date], after which it will be returned to circulation.” I’m thinking, “Cool, it’s in and I can finish the series.” That is, I’m thinking that until I look more closely at the title that is being held for me.
It’s the missing card… from the original fiasco… almost one year later! I couldn’t help but laugh.
A few days later, I get the 2nd request card for the new title (trust me… notes will be important here). I go to the library on a Friday night, after work (it closes at 6pm). I returned the other CDs that I had checked out, and proceeded to the desk to get my reserved titles (telling them they can keep the old one, and to check out the new one). We take care of the audio items, and I am told that there is still a book showing as checked out.
The book (the Neil Gaiman title, by the way) was returned on the same day that the CDs (now being returned) were checked out. The person at the desk sent a runner to the shelves to see if the book was, indeed, on the shelf. After about five minutes, the runner returned with not one, but two copies of the text (one in a hardcover format, and the other a softcover… and I specify that I had the hardcover version). The book was, indeed, on the shelf, and was promptly “checked-in” to their system, and late fees waived, thank-you-very-much.
About a week and a half has now passed since the whole CD-Book occurance happened. I received a card in the mail last week. The 1st (presumed lost) hold request card for the new title is delivered to me. As I gingerly removed the card – the only thing in my mailbox that day – and reviewed the back, drinking in the words, “the title I had requested is being held for me until [date], after which it will be returned to circulation.”