If you do not use the library....why? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 89 Old 09-21-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I love the library but haven't been there all summer. I really need to find time to read more, but I've just been too busy. Hopefully once it gets cold I'll have more free time (which I will because I hate going out in the cold!)

Our staff is really nice for the most part and they have done a lot to improve the systems over the last 7 years. When we moved here I almost cried at the "selection". I moved from a college town that had the most amazing public library and it was a major culture shock.

It's also right across the street so I could walk...but I always come home with 60 pounds of books so I have to drive.
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#62 of 89 Old 09-21-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Well, I love to read, but really don't have a lot of time for it now. I mainly read when I'm traveling so I have a kindle - much easier to carry around, esp. on extended visits.

Also, just libraries in general don't make much sense for our family right now for a few reasons:

Our local branch was closed due to budget cuts and the main location doesn't have a lot of parking and public transportation to that area is unreliable

they don't often carry the type of books I like to read now and I don't wait to wait a week or so for the inter-library loaner to show up or return it before I've had time to read it.

it's hard for me to get there during the week and all of the children's programs seem to take place in the middle of the day
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#63 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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Well we do use the library, I just had to re-adjust my library patterns again due to budget cuts. UGH.... We use 2 different library systems. City A and City B. City A is larger and free and City B costs $15 a quarter but has better kids programs, has more computers, and higher late fees etc..

I like the library because they have clean tables for me to do 'house office work' on. Its just easier for me to focus at the library and I'm much more efficient and effecitve over there. 30-60 min 1x a week doing bills, paper work etc and its all done.

I also get tons of books, I have email reminders from both libraries set up for when my orders are in and when the books are due back. Both libraries have drive thru's for returns and both have branches on the way to my work so I can drop off early in the AM if i need to.

I still am guilty of late fees and run about $5 a quarter at each city. I try keep track of the dvd's since they are $1 a day YIKES.... I can also renew on line so that helps ALOT.

City B has much better kids librarians and DS has really bonded with them over the years. Both systems have huge waits for anything you order if the book/movie/dvd is a new release but that is to be expected.

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#64 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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This thread got me thinking and so I decided to give the library another shot. I went online to find out when the toddler storytime is and was shocked to learn it was already "sold out" for the remainder of the year Apparently they have a specific day that you have to go and "apply" and then they take all the applications and conduct a lottery to see who makes the cut!!

This is storytime, people!!!!! And I PAY TAXES that support this library! I am outraged!!! Its like the fight at the park district to get enrolled in the "good" classes at the "good" park. It is just not easy to raise small children in the city of Chicago unless you have boatloads of money to send them to private programs. Sigh...

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#65 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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This thread got me thinking and so I decided to give the library another shot. I went online to find out when the toddler storytime is and was shocked to learn it was already "sold out" for the remainder of the year Apparently they have a specific day that you have to go and "apply" and then they take all the applications and conduct a lottery to see who makes the cut!!

This is storytime, people!!!!! And I PAY TAXES that support this library! I am outraged!!! Its like the fight at the park district to get enrolled in the "good" classes at the "good" park. It is just not easy to raise small children in the city of Chicago unless you have boatloads of money to send them to private programs. Sigh...
They probably just don't have room for everyone who wants to attend. There are fire regulations on the maximum number of people in a room for one thing, but for another, if you put too many small kids in one place nobody can hear anything.

I agree with you though, it's obnoxious. Our library requires that you sign up in person for most of the children's programming. Once they have reached the designated maximum number of kids, your in person trip is in vain as you cannot sign up. The programs usually fill up during the day when the sign up starts, so if you work during the day you are SOL. It's environmentally irresponsible to require people to make a special trip to the library to sign up.

And I live in a pretty wealthy suburb in the East.
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#66 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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I work in a public library, and some of these reasons that people don't use the library really make me sad. I think some of it is bad libraries and some of it is patrons not understanding the role their libraries play in a community. Some of it is a funding issue and EVERY public library in the country is feeling the pinch.

For example, you can't just let someone borrow a book indefinitely and not have overdue fines. Since it's a resource for everyone, you can't just say that someone can keep a book as long as they want. Check-out periods are important to making sure the PUBLIC is served and not just one slow reader. Replacing books and processing them is expensive, so I understand the extra fees. Sometimes librarians are having a really crappy day (because there ARE people who treat librarians with much disdain) and you happen to be on the receiving end of what is the end of their ropes. Librarians are human, too, and make mistakes about fines, but you would not BELIEVE the stories we get - it is easy to be jaded. I'm not making excuses, just trying to explain some.

Our library is known as being the most friendly library in our county and we're pretty proud of our customer service. But we are being squeezed so tight we're starting to squeak, so I hope everyone who has had a bad experience will give them a second chance and keep in mind that cutting corners is par for the course in this economy.
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#67 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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When I worked as the head of Audio/Visual services at the library, I ran a very popular film festival every summer for children. So popular that the Fire Marshall showed up during a screening and shut it down for having too many people. We had to go to a reservation system and many people were shut out.

My good friend is currently the childrens programmer at the library and it hurts her heart how many kids can't be accommodated for story times and puppet shows. There is a strictly enforced limit on how many spots are available, and there is not enough manpower or money to do a program more than once or twice each week. At least at our library you can call in your reservations.
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#68 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I totally understand the idea behind limiting the number in attendance at library programs - safety issues, space, crowd control, etc... Its just I used to live in a small town where you could just drop on by storytime and it was okay. And all of the programs at the community center and around town were very accessible. It is just very sad to me that the sense of community that should be present in our lives - and especially at our library - is just completely missing.

I am sick of the struggle - a struggle to get into storytime, a struggle to get into classes at the park district or to sign up for swimming lessons. I stood in line for over 2 hours to sign DS up for a program at the park district last month and we didn't even get in. Super frustrating.

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#69 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 04:35 PM
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I like to own the book. After I read it - I hate to let it go. Books are my friends!

Also, I have three kids three years apart. It really does make sense for me to purchase the book and hand it down.

And then there are the library fees because I can never get them back on time...

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#70 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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I don't go as often as I used to b/c DD is a maniac and likes to take things off the shelves while I try and find books. Plus the big awesome library downtown flooded 2 years ago and won't be rebuilt for 2 more years so we're stuck with the small branch ones. We only go twice a month or so now as opposed to once or twice a week before she was mobile.

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#71 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Last few times I got books from the library, I didn't finish them within the 3 weeks, and then I renewed them and still didn't finish in time.

and now I have a kindle and it's spoiled me for reading books I <3 my kindle

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#72 of 89 Old 09-24-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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I'm a librarian - at least, I have a masters degree that that says so, but I'm a SAHM for now. This thread is kind of bumming me out.

It's also making me realize that I'm fortunate to live in a city with a long legacy of public libraries. Our libraries rock. I've rarely not been able to find something I want through inter-library loan. Everything can be done online, from requesting materials to renewals to paying fines. I've gotten some amazing music from the library, both for myself and DS (just check it out and import onto iTunes). The libraries I frequent all have children's sections that are completely separate from the main floor, so there's no shushing of little ones. They have toys, comfy chairs, art carts, and really great librarians. We go to baby lap-sing every week. Our library system doesn't charge late fees on kids materials, which I love. Our main library has an awesome teen section. I could go on and on...

Some of my earliest memories are from my community library. It never would occur to me to not use the library.
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#73 of 89 Old 09-25-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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When we have used the library a lot it was because it was easily accessible, had good hours, and nice books.

We've be to some libraries where I felt that I had to check the books and steer the kids toward the ones that were worth bringing home. We've used other libraries where every book on the shelf was a quality piece of children's literature. Sorry. I just don't want to bring a lot of Sponge Bob home!

Right now, we aren't using the library as much as we might otherwise because our neighbourhood library has very few english books. I need to sit down and request english books from other branches, and pick them up as they trickle in, which is something I don't get around to as much as I'd like to considering home much time our kids spend reading.

I'm also annoyed at our local library because they have toys on display that can only be played with at certain times, and our 2 year old doesn't get that. DH takes the kids to the playground next door while I run in and pick up the books.

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#74 of 89 Old 09-25-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I try not to use the library because then I have to keep track of everybodys (children and dh) materials and its a real pain. I used to keep everything together in a bin but everything would just get strewn all over the house. I would rather buy cheap books at thrift store and not worry if they wind up under bed in corner for a few months.

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#75 of 89 Old 09-25-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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I do use the library but strongly dislike it and everytime I go I threaten not to go again. My list of rants are below.

- The librarians are extra super grumpy. I'm talking the ones in the children section. If you dare ask them a question they act like it's such a big bother for them to help you.

- They have the WORST picture books on the face of the universe. DD picked one up for me to read to her. I kid you not, it started "Cinderella was bothered and hot" and went downhill from there. I gave up after 2 pages.

- My children are 3 and 4. They have two storytimes. One is for 3-under. The other is for 4-5. I asked a grumpy librarian which one I should go to and she told me to go to the 4-5 one they have to be able to quietly sit still for 45 minutes. If they can't they aren't welcome. Ummmm....my almost 5 yo can't do that much less my 3 yo boy.

- Don't get me started on the contents of their themed tot backpacks. The piggy one DD got had a DVD of Peppa Pig (or whatever) the most insidious toddler show ever. Now my children go around making the oink sound.

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#76 of 89 Old 09-25-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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For example, you can't just let someone borrow a book indefinitely and not have overdue fines. Since it's a resource for everyone, you can't just say that someone can keep a book as long as they want.
Most of the libraries we use don't charge fines. We use the one that does charge fines much less, mainly because of the fines. The libraries without fines still have limited checkout periods, and they eventually call or email to remind you about overdue books - there's just no punishment if you exceed the checkout period. Of course, that is sort of the same as letting you keep books indefinitely, but it doesn't work out that way for us. I still try to return them on time, and I'm usually pretty close. I may be a few days late, but not weeks. It makes it so much easier to use the library if I don't have to worry about getting everything back exactly by a certain date. It sure sounds from this thread like fines are one of the major reasons people avoid libraries. (I love libraries and would still use ours if they all charged fines - but I think I would use them less.)
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#77 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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I like to own the book. After I read it - I hate to let it go. Books are my friends!

Also, I have three kids three years apart. It really does make sense for me to purchase the book and hand it down.

And then there are the library fees because I can never get them back on time...
I re-read all mine many, many times. Having it right on hand is important!
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#78 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 02:01 AM
 
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With many local cut backs, many libraries no longer hire full time MLS graduates and prefer to hire clerks and MLS consultants instead.

This is dangerous. Someday the libraries will close and that will be the end of many freedoms we have.
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#79 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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The library here is super tiny with an extremely small selection. I have driven by and you can see in. I have never even set foot inside there. I might do so but since 99.99% of my reading is romance novels I doubt seriously if they will have any.
I too must admit that I am a huge fan of romance novels - but because I can easily finish a book a day I cannot afford to buy them. Starting checking them out at the library but I was burning through their selection pretty quickly. Thankfully that is when I found out about their Valentine's Day sale - all romance novels in their book sale room are 5 for $1! I head over with $20 and leave with 100 new books saving me bunches of money and it helps the library at the same time!
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#80 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 03:29 AM
 
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I

For example, you can't just let someone borrow a book indefinitely and not have overdue fines. Since it's a resource for everyone, you can't just say that someone can keep a book as long as they want. Check-out periods are important to making sure the PUBLIC is served and not just one slow reader. Replacing books and processing them is expensive, so I understand the extra fees.
We lived in one fairly large city, and the library did not charge overdue fees until a book had been out a month past the return date. Then the fee was a whopping $15. It was the oddest library system I've ever patronized. No one bothered to return books on time, since they could keep them without penalty for double the "official" loan period. They also charged for inter-branch loans (I think it was $1 or $2 per book) which deterred me from using the service.

I am very happy to frequent a terrific library system now. Overdue fees are reasonable, inter-branch loans are free, and I can re-new loans and request holds on-line.
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#81 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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I am very happy to frequent a terrific library system now. Overdue fees are reasonable, inter-branch loans are free, and I can re-new loans and request holds on-line.
I wanted to point out that, at least in our state, the inter-library loans cost a whopping $10 per book, per transaction. Most of the time, the patron doesn't see that. Libraries are kind of damned if they do and damned if they don't. They can't provide free inter-library loan, and free overdue, and free replacement of lost items, etc. But as they are public libraries, it is your right to know more about how funds are allocated. Funds are getting more and more limited. They can't make everything free because they have to operate within a tight budget.
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#82 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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We lived in one fairly large city, and the library did not charge overdue fees until a book had been out a month past the return date. Then the fee was a whopping $15. It was the oddest library system I've ever patronized. No one bothered to return books on time, since they could keep them without penalty for double the "official" loan period.
That actually sounds like a pretty reasonable system to me. The people who are trying to be responsible but sometimes miss the due date by a few days or a week aren't penalized, but there's a big incentive not to keep your books way past their due date. At most libraries people can keep their books for double the loan period anyway, just by calling and asking to renew them.
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#83 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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We do use our library but it's not our only source of books. We have a 40 book limit which is INSANE for homeschoolers. 2 kids picking 2 science topics each week and adding in history books, plus whatever "fun" books they want, and gee I'd like a few to read to and POOF! Oh, and the kids always want a couple of really dumb DVDs too.

The 40 limit is hit pretty easily. I had to put my books back this past week because I was NOT going to have the kids put their books back. That just seems stupid.

So I finally broke down and bought a Kindle this week. I'll just download my books and skip going to the library for ME. But that's really too bad because it means I'll never join their book clubs or do the things that could help our library generate some money.

I do buy a ton of used books from Amazon. I get pretty much ALL of our supplemental history stuff from there instead of the library because that would really push us over the limit!

I'm also annoyed because when we were there Friday, the idiot male librarian who checked us out asked DD why she didn't have any "princess" books and had to read all the "boring" books instead. Gee, thanks dude. Help me instill a love of learning there!!
And who would ever think the ancient Indus Valley discoveries were BORING??

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#84 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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1. parking. there just is a paucity of parking around our main library. the bookmobile doesn't come to our neighborhood.

2. campus library. when i need something work-related or study-related, i can usually get it much much faster through the campus library.

3. paperbackswap. i use paperbackswap for most of ds's books. he likes to read things over and over and over again - not amenable to libraries and their due dates.

4. waiting lists. most of the books i want to read have huge long waiting lists.

as a child, i practically lived in the public library in the summer because it was adjacent to the public swimming pool.

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#85 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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Ours just sucks. Besides the 15 book limit, it's tiny and I'm pretty sure we've read everything they have. Plus one librarian is mean and rude and makes it horrible. Instead, we figure out what we want, search online and ILL it through the college system dh works at.

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#86 of 89 Old 09-26-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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I love to buy and own the books I read. I have loved books from the moment I could read.
In university I worked at the university library. I loved libraries as a kid.
I hate the overdue fines...I built up too many in the past...I would rather own the book than pay a fine for taking too long to return it.
I want to bring my son and share the experience of all the books....

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#87 of 89 Old 09-27-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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I wanted to point out that, at least in our state, the inter-library loans cost a whopping $10 per book, per transaction.
That's actually pretty cheap. Studies of ILL transaction costs usually put the average cost at least triple that amount.
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#88 of 89 Old 09-27-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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We don't go to ours anymore because it is a glorified computer lab, with horrible hours.

Two years ago they had massive budget cuts and they decided that the library would only be open Tues and Thurs from 10-8 and every other Saturday from 12-5. They put a levy on the ballot to increase hours and when it passed they decided to renovate instead. They moved all of the books to the basement and now the first floor is rows and rows of computers and the AV department.

They also rarely buy new books anymore...they've made it very clear that the computer stations and the AV department are their priorities.

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#89 of 89 Old 09-27-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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Because I'm afraid Dd will destroy someone else's books. We have tried and tried and tried and talked and talked and talke about how to properly treat a book (she is FIVE now!), but somehow her books still get little rips/tears/dings in them. Board Books handed down to her from Ds that looked brand new were so destroyed I couldn't donate them!

I'm also afraid of how loud she is (seriously, her teacher suggested I get her ears checked b/c she is so loud - and I did and they're fine).

The last time I was in a library my 9 year old was two, and he made a rare (for him) mini-scene at story time. I haven't been back since.
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