The Long Schoolroom

Is it irresponsible to request books from the library if they’re not checked out and they’re already in the branch where you’ll be picking them up? I got used to this in San Francisco: I’d read about a book online, want to check it out, request it from the library, then forget about it until I got the email notification that it was ready to be picked up at my branch. But now the books I want are already there, usually, not checked out and at the main branch of the University library. But I’m here in stocking feet, 2.5 m away from the closed library, on my second Single-Wide, and I’ll never remember to go pick up these books unless I request them. I guess I could retrain myself and use the library website’s “wish list” function, but I’m disinclined. Any thoughts on this, especially from folks who’ve worked in libraries, would be appreciated. Is this like asking the waiter for hot sauce when there’s a bottle on an empty table within arm’s reach? Or, like, asking the bike mechanic to wash your helmet?

6 thoughts on “The Long Schoolroom

  1. I’m not a librarian, but libraries never seem super backlogged with books, do they (isn’t that what work-study is for? am I being horrible?) I think whatever gets you to actually go and check the books out is probably good for the library, though if you have a smart phone or a planner, can’t you just make yourself a reminder?

      1. thrilling development! got this automated email this morning:

        “Due to budgetary constraints, your request for us to retrieve this
        item is denied because the item is available in your home library.
        You may look for it under the call number shown. Materials not
        locally held or which are currently checked out from your home
        library may be requested from another MERLIN or MOBIUS library.”

  2. Hey – It’s Miriam. From OMCA. I just found your blog – it’s amazing!
    And I’m in library science school right now, so I thought maybe I would reply, because that would be fitting. I just learned in school this very night that 60% of inter-library-loans are requested from libraries that already own the book. There seems to be no process in place that checks to make sure a library holds a book before they request a loan. I find this fact interesting and also sad. Hope all is well in Missouri.

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