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Library collection

By Watson - 14 July 2011 27

Am I the only one who finds the ACT Libraries collection a tiny tad lacking? Pretty much each and every book I want to read, I have to request to be held because they never seem to make it to the shelves. And now I know why. For 3 of the books I recently asked to be held, I am 15th, 14th and 13th in the queue. That’s a 10 month wait to read a book?!

I checked the shelves for a few classic authors today and for some did not find even one of their books on the shelves. So all I can go in there for is to collect items that are being held for me when they finally arrive. Browsing is futile.

It makes it tempting to just buy them cheaply from overseas, but I have so many books that I will never read again on my bookshelves already… Maybe I should do it anyway and then donate them to the library once I’ve read them!

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Library collection
colourful sydney rac 11:34 am 14 Jul 11

Watson said :

But obviously, I am an ethernal whinger and I should just buy the bloody books and leave the library to the nice people who appreciate the service so much they would never dare offer any constructive criticism.

Make up your mind. At #9 you accuse me of insulting library staff and now I would never criticise them?

Watson 11:26 am 14 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

So what is your solution? The library should have every book you may want, and have it on the shelf of which ever library you happen to go to on any particular day? If that is what you want go to a bookshop and buy the book.

Nowhere have I suggested that the ACT library system is inefficient, I think it is an excellent service. I have always been able to find books that I have been looking for. Sure sometimes I have to wait a couple of weeks, but don’t see that as something to get worked up over.

Whoa, my sincere apologies for mentioning it. I was not getting worked up at all, but you obviously are.

If you regard 10 months and a couple of weeks as the same, you probably never get impatient about anything. Good for you!

I was suggesting that maybe – just maybe, I have never run a public library – it might be a good idea if they would have more copies of the same book, IF they notice that there are consistently more than 10 people waiting for the book at any given time. I don’t mind still having to request them – I suppose it is the modern thing to do.

But obviously, I am an ethernal whinger and I should just buy the bloody books and leave the library to the nice people who appreciate the service so much they would never dare offer any constructive criticism.

troll-sniffer: you’re probably still paying too much. If you want your books at the cheapest price, go to http://www.booko.com.au. If you want to support Australian book stores, you can just find the first Australian one in the list, though they are consistently about twice as expensive as the UK or US alternatives.

Ebay can be ok for secondhand books, but I rarely find what I need cheaper than the cheapest price for new.

FioBla 11:16 am 14 Jul 11

I’ve used a few library services around Australia: Tasmania, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and now Canberra. Anecdotally (important) I think Canberra is technically very “good”—automatic checkouts and check ins, free reserve (holds), shelved reserves (don’t have to bother the counter staff), electronic rentals (Overdrive), has great number of branches & a mobile lending service, but somehow does not have the collection I want. Or maybe it’s small, but it doesn’t look that way when I visit the branches: there seem to be a ton of books there. or maybe I’ve grown older.

>Maybe I should do it anyway and then donate them to the library once I’ve read them!

I think that is a good idea. I think the Library’s collection should reflect the local population’s reading habits. It is possible that Canberra’s just doesn’t reflect mine (this is not a complaint). My old books always go libraries or to freecycle.

> get thee a kindle

I have a Kindle. Just know that it is not, or not yet compatible with the Overdrive lending system.

FWIW, my favourite library services were the Tasmanian, and Newcastle ones. But each (including Canberra) have their charms. If I’m not mistaken, of the library services I’ve used, Canberra serves the smallest population

troll-sniffer 10:55 am 14 Jul 11

ON the odd occasion I want a book, I go to eBay first and Abebooks second, between the two there’s about a 95% or better chance I can get the book I want, even quite new titles, for 20% to 50% of the bookshop price, and often even lower. After reading it I either donate it somewhere or sell it back on eBay or give it to like minded friends for their edumacation.

And, if I really want a book and can’t find it cheaply on the internet, I’m quite happy to give Dymocks a little business, and I can usually recover up to 50% of the store price at eBay if the book is in some sort of demand.

colourful sydney rac 10:50 am 14 Jul 11

Watson said :

I’ve only recently started using the library again (after giving them a nice little donation in overdue fines first :o) and I do think the online catalogue and being able to request for books to be transferred and held are brilliant! I also have no complaints about the variety of books. Just about the limited number of copies they seem to hold for each book. But maybe that is unrealistic. Or maybe I was spoilt by the libraries in my hometown…

It’s good to know that the place in the queue doesn’t always result in such long waiting times too.

@colourful sydney rac. That is such an old and tired argument. It’s not because you don’t have to pay for a service that you should not expect it to be efficient. That’s a bit of an insult to the role of the library staff actually. And of course, we all pay for the service. It’s called ‘taxes’.

So what is your solution? The library should have every book you may want, and have it on the shelf of which ever library you happen to go to on any particular day? If that is what you want go to a bookshop and buy the book.

Nowhere have I suggested that the ACT library system is inefficient, I think it is an excellent service. I have always been able to find books that I have been looking for. Sure sometimes I have to wait a couple of weeks, but don’t see that as something to get worked up over.

OverLord 10:46 am 14 Jul 11

Books wha? I thought the library was a place you go to skate out the front of.

Watson 10:36 am 14 Jul 11

I’ve only recently started using the library again (after giving them a nice little donation in overdue fines first :o) and I do think the online catalogue and being able to request for books to be transferred and held are brilliant! I also have no complaints about the variety of books. Just about the limited number of copies they seem to hold for each book. But maybe that is unrealistic. Or maybe I was spoilt by the libraries in my hometown…

It’s good to know that the place in the queue doesn’t always result in such long waiting times too.

@colourful sydney rac. That is such an old and tired argument. It’s not because you don’t have to pay for a service that you should not expect it to be efficient. That’s a bit of an insult to the role of the library staff actually. And of course, we all pay for the service. It’s called ‘taxes’.

CapitalK 10:03 am 14 Jul 11

rossco said :

I have the opposite view of the Library collection. I’ve found the range of books (especially cooking books and graphic novels), DVDs and CDs to be pretty impressive given the size of the user base. Plus they will deliver requested books to the library of your choosing and you can request the library to purchase items, which is pretty awesome.

My thoughts exactly. I can’t say enough good things about the ACT library Service now that it has reinvented itself.

I often request books and have never had to wait.

ma7trlb 9:57 am 14 Jul 11

I have been a user of the librar(ies) for some time. I have rarely come across a book that they don’t have, and if you reserve the book online, you make sure to click “request any copy”, I have rarely had to wait more than a couple of weeks (even when i’ve been 53rd in the queue). Browsing the shelves will rarely bring any luck, but their online catalogue/reserve system seems to operate well enough for me?

rossco 9:56 am 14 Jul 11

I have the opposite view of the Library collection. I’ve found the range of books (especially cooking books and graphic novels), DVDs and CDs to be pretty impressive given the size of the user base. Plus they will deliver requested books to the library of your choosing and you can request the library to purchase items, which is pretty awesome.

Rawhide Kid Part3 9:56 am 14 Jul 11

johnboy said :

get thee a kindle.

Or an iPad. The ACT Libraries has an extensive digital collection of books for readers and Books on CD and they are expanding their collection as we speak ….

Overheard 9:52 am 14 Jul 11

I’ve encountered this syndrome myself lately. I put a reserve on a book that, according to the catalogue, had two items ‘Checked In’ only to find out I was 23rd in the order queue.

Not complaining; it is what it is. I just went to a bookshop instead. Not that I want to do that for every title.

Watson 9:47 am 14 Jul 11

Nooooo! I sit in front of a screen all day (and most of the night). I want my tangible, fragile, paper book that smells of ink or old paper.

colourful sydney rac 9:45 am 14 Jul 11

You are complaining about having to wait a while to get to read new books for free?

johnboy 9:36 am 14 Jul 11

get thee a kindle.

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