Library hold policy (OT)

Caleb W SCWoody423 at
Wed Feb 27 15:23:12 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Melissa Proffitt" <Melissa at>
To: <dwj at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 4:27 PM
Subject: Library hold policy (was Re: freedom and necessity)

> On Thu, 28 Feb 2002 00:20:49 +1100, Sally Odgers wrote:
> >> That'll show me for not buying my own copy.
It really annoys me when I read a really good book from the library, since I
don't feel I can justify buying them. Someone seems to be permanently
"borrowing" some of the best books from the "Doctor Who" range, since a
couple of the best ones are now a few months overdue. This does give me the
excuse to go and buy them though :)

> >
> >Does this mean you're not allowed to reborrow a book on the day you
> >it? Is that library policy or software warfare? A while ago my sister
> >me to reserve some books by Jill Paton Walsh for her. Not having her
> >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,
> >them to my sister who hands them back to me to return. It's quite a
> 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
> do at the library, it was a total waste of time.

Luckily, my family knows one of the librarians quite well and I'm a very
regular customer :), so when I go in and there's a book for my sister, or
vice versa, they will offer them to us to take for the other, which is nice.

 > HOWEVER.  The way it works here, all the books on hold are in a room
> 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
> 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
> 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
> me....
> (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.)
Unfortunately, all the reserved books are kept behind the desk, although
tantalizingly within sight. It's very annoying to see a book you really want
to read waiting there for someone else. BTW, I've already ordered the 5th
Harry Potter book from the library to get in early.

The library ordering service is quite erratic, and books that aren't in
stock may turn up months and months after originally ordering them. Books
that are in the library area can be got quite quickly. On the internet
access computers at the library it's possible to search the library
catalogue, so I tend to look for books I want to read in there rather than
hoping that the books I want to read will turn up. Sometimes I'm very
pleased with them, such as when they succeeded in getting some _excellent_
books that are due to copyright reasons permanently out of print and going
for anything up to £100 on eBay. I can also order books for free, since I'm
in full time education. I probably keep the librarians out of mischief the
amount of books I order :)

It's suddenly struck me that it is very sad that I find all this


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