Library hold policy (was Re: freedom and necessity)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Wed Feb 27 11:27:03 EST 2002

On Thu, 28 Feb 2002 00:20:49 +1100, Sally Odgers wrote:

>> I just wanted to say a big thanks to those of you who recommended Freedom
>> and Necessity. I am such a sucker for the epistolary genre. Sadly, since I
>> was really enjoying it, I accidentally returned the book to the library
>> with a bunch of others that were in my bag, and now I have to wait a day
>>to reborrow it. That'll show me for not buying my own copy.
>Does this mean you're not allowed to reborrow a book on the day you return
>it? Is that library policy or software warfare? A while ago my sister asked
>me to reserve some books by Jill Paton Walsh for her. Not having her library
>card, I put the reservation on my own, and then found that the library
>computer insists that *I* have to borrow the books. So, I collect them, hand
>them to my sister who hands them back to me to return. It's quite a circus.

We have the same policy at our library.  In our case, it meant that when
Jacob went to the library alone, he couldn't pick up MY books that were on
hold.  *I* had to go back later and since it was the only thing I needed to
do at the library, it was a total waste of time.

HOWEVER.  The way it works here, all the books on hold are in a room that's
open to the public.  They stick a little slip of paper with the patron's
name on it, and you go in and find them yourself.  And they only keep track
of what you personally have waiting for you.  Theoretically, if I were
eeeeevil, I could browse the shelves and take someone else's holds, and they
wouldn't have a clue until the real person came along looking for their
book.  I wonder if they'd be able to cross-reference the missing book to

(They must have trouble with this when it comes to ultra-popular books,
because when a new Harry Potter arrives, they keep all THOSE holds behind
the desk.)

Melissa Proffitt
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