Pet peeves

Yes, I have a few complaints.

  1. Why is it so hard to get out of the Reference Library if you’re holding any kind of book whatsoever? In theory they have to check your bags. In practice they just glance at your bag. If I have a book from another branch, I hand it to them and say “From another branch.” The worst-case scenario, so unpleasant that I actually avoid it, is to try to leave TRL with a book from TRL that you had previously checked out. They make you walk back to the checkout desk and get another receipt.

    Oh, and the general case of books checked out of TRL? They claim to inspect them, but in practice if you hand them a pile of items and a receipt they give you attitude for making them cross-check everything. (It’s so much work!)

    Now, really: Aren’t thieves the least likely to subject themselves to that degree of inspection? And isn’t this security theatre in the first place, since the most likely form of theft is a stolen picture or a page ripped out of a book, not an actual stolen book?

  2. Why is it so hard to get out of the North York Central Library if you’re carrying anything, at all, from any other branch?

    Everything from that branch has to be handed around the gate, because they never desensitize the anti-theft strip. So they check out your items and pass them around. Fine. What do they do with other library materials?

    • The worst case: Make you stand there as they look over the entire list of items you have out, which is none of their damned business in the first place, in an effort to find the item on the list. I think they’re just pretending: I don’t think they actually manage to find it half the time, especially for customers like me who have 15 to 30 items out at any given time.

    • The best case (it’s happened once): They just check it out again. Nothing happens if it’s already checked out.

    Seriously, if I’m handing you a book from another branch, am I likely to be a thief? Rational thought, please. (And consistent training.)

  3. Why isn’t there any guaranteed way to search the library catalogue on the ground floor of the Reference Library? There are no dedicated machines just for the catalogue. (Go check. There aren’t.)

  4. Why do some design magazines circulate at North York CL and some don’t? They’re comparably expensive. I shouldn’t mention this, I suppose, because somebody will equalize the system so that nothing circulates.

  5. If they’re going to equalize anything when it comes to periodicals, how about lagtime before a new periodical circulates? I know several branches that circulate them immediately on receipt. Others make you wait until the day they expect to receive the next issue (often a wonky guess). But City Hall won’t let you take out the second-latest issue if its circulation date has not arrived yet and they also have the very latest issue.

    Circulation on receipt is best for the at-home reader; delayed circulation is best for the in-branch reader. The City Hall policy needs to be reversed.

  6. The photocopier contract was renegotiated, saving $386,000. If my observations are correct, real copiers are being phased out in favour of glorified scanners that can’t handle any item bigger than legal size. Good luck copying a page from the newspaper. (Old copiers handled tabloid size.)

  7. Why are there almost no comedy CDs in the collection? Literally almost none. Check any comedians you like, from George Carlin to Katt Williams. They aren’t there.

  8. Audiobooks need to be shelved correctly, which I define as follows:

    • All audiobooks together. Don’t file nonfiction audiobooks with nonfiction books (as at Jones).

    • Individual formats together. CDs go with CDs, tapes with tapes. Don’t intermingle them (as at Gerrard–Ashdale). (The argument against this one? “We don’t have the space.” But you don’t need any more space; the number of items has not changed because I asked a question about them.)

  9. It’s great we’re opening more libraries on Sundays, but why aren’t we opening more of them on Mondays?

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3 thoughts on “Pet peeves

  1. I had the opposite problem with the legal/tabloid sizes in the photocopiers. Many libraries have phased out the legal size and yet, in their clippings files or historical files, items are saved on legal size. It’s an awful waste of paper to copy any of those items.

    My bigger peeve at the TRL is the LACK of photocopiers. They have reduced down to one per floor, but on a floor like 4 where the maps and periodicals are and then 5 where the music is, all you need is for one of the copiers to break and you have an impossibliy long lineup on the other floor. Let’s be somewhat smart about putting the copiers back on the floors where items are most often photocopied.

    And finally, when you log into the library catalogue with your own account, why is the default page the “search the catalogue” page? I’m most often looking to see which of my books are due. It takes up to 5 attempts at clicking “My account” to get to MY account and away from the catalogue search.

  2. Why is it impossible to log into your account online when all you want to do is check your due dates? Loading, loading, loading…yet nothing loads!

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