Library hold policy (was Re: freedom and necessity)

Venkarel venkarel.geo at
Wed Feb 27 16:26:21 EST 2002

--- Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Feb 2002 00:20:49 +1100, Sally Odgers
> wrote:


> >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

My library allows renewal by phone or over the
Internet for up to two times, then you return the
book.  In the past, I just put another hold on the
book, which is usually processed when I return the
book.  I figured that if no one else wanted the book,
I might as well borrow it again.  This is usually for
books I like to reference like cookbooks or

> 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.

I can understand that, though I'd think the librarian
could override the software.  It keeps other people
from checking out a book that had been placed on hold
for you.  I have this theory, sometimes, that when you
place a hold on a book, the librarian doesn't actually
look for the book and place it on hold for you, but
waits until some unfortunate soul tries to check it
out, the computer flags it, and the book is taken away
from them.  

> 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.

Maybe he could go to the library with your card?  And
explain matters?  You go to the library often enough
and the staff comes to recognize you--and sometimes
give special privileges.  The staff at the branch I
visit know that there is usually a stack of books
behind the counter with my name on it.  They often let
me check out the entire stack, even if it goes over
the ten-book/visit limit.


> (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.)

Even if no one tries to check them out on their card,
they could take it back into the library to read. 
Then the book would get lost for a while.  When Lord
of the Rings was made into a movie, I could not even
find a reference copy to read in the library.  I'd
only wanted to check something since my copy was
missing the last few pages.

(who adores the Los Angeles city library)

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