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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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Aurita 8:29 pm 16 Jul 11

I came to Canberra an year ago, and my last experience of a good Public Library was in Hillsboro, OR in US – so initially I cribbed a bit because I felt that I did not find the titles I like reading. But very quickly I have nothing but good things to say about library – they do an awesome job, they try to have the popular titles. Yes I agree there is a huge waiting list. I also do what someone here suggested, put at least 10 requests at any given time knowing that they will come in sequence. But I also do get somethings on browsing but rarely do I get popular books – clearly everyone reserves if they want something.
I have accepted long ago that if I want instant gratification with a book that I badly want my hands on, I have to buy it. Doing both of these things works fine. All the best Watson!

laughtong 8:12 pm 14 Jul 11

JessP said :

Laughtong said:

This comment illustrates the dilemma for the library staff well.
Every time we buy an additional copy of something topical and popular, it eats into the budget for other material. Year or two down the track the additional copies are either sitting on the shelves gathering dust and taking up valuable space or are being disposed off. Difficult balancing act.

So what are you suggesting? One copy of a popular book so that we may have more books that people (may not necessarily) want to read??

Isn’t this what Watson was talking about as being an issue in the first place? The library is there to cater to the needs of the public… that isnt necessarily 100 new titles – it may in fact be 20 copies of 5 titles that people want to read.

Read my comment in full – I am saying it is a complex balancing of the topical and popular against a range of material that may be, for instance, meeting students needs. Also what is topical and popular today, mostly likely won’t be so popular in 2 years time. In the meantime the library could have missed selecting some ‘sleeper’ material of growing interest or important material for local needs in the future. In many cases these items go out of print quickly and can’t be purchased later on.
Of course if e-book publishers gave llibraries some better options for mutliple user access, e-books are an ideal method to satisify the immediate rush for the new or popular.

JessP 6:56 pm 14 Jul 11

Laughtong said:

This comment illustrates the dilemma for the library staff well.
Every time we buy an additional copy of something topical and popular, it eats into the budget for other material. Year or two down the track the additional copies are either sitting on the shelves gathering dust and taking up valuable space or are being disposed off. Difficult balancing act.

So what are you suggesting? One copy of a popular book so that we may have more books that people (may not necessarily) want to read?? Isn’t this what Watson was talking about as being an issue in the first place? The library is there to cater to the needs of the public… that isnt necessarily 100 new titles – it may in fact be 20 copies of 5 titles that people want to read.

laughtong 6:17 pm 14 Jul 11

JessP said :

The ACT library is very very good. Sure you have to wait for more popular titles but if you not prepared to pay the $$ to buy then you just haveto suck it up!

When The Da Vinci Code first came out the wait list was 100+!! BUT the Library did get more copies so, although there was still a wait, it was reduced.

This comment illustrates the dilemma for the library staff well.
Every time we buy an additional copy of something topical and popular, it eats into the budget for other material. Year or two down the track the additional copies are either sitting on the shelves gathering dust and taking up valuable space or are being disposed off. Difficult balancing act.

Watson 1:43 pm 14 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

*sigh* I was not getting aggressive, I just was surprised that you would complain about having to wait to get a new edition of a bokk to read for free. I took issue with your implication that I was insulting the staff of the library – staff who I believe do a great job, with insufficinet appreciation and are probably comparatively underpaid – if my response was aggressive or curt, I apologise.

It’s ok. I admit that my response was pretty passive aggressive too. 😮

And I will take the opportunity to stress that I do not have any complaints about the library staff or the service. I was mainly making a suggestion about how great it would be if they could get a larger budget for purchasing more copies of popular books. And not just talking new books here.

I am grateful to have a local library close to home and work now my daughter has started devouring books. I was buying her books for a while, but could not keep up. And 6yos tend to not be very picky about which books they read. 🙂

astrojax 1:43 pm 14 Jul 11

Watson said :

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.

yes!

JessP 1:42 pm 14 Jul 11

The ACT library is very very good. Sure you have to wait for more popular titles but if you not prepared to pay the $$ to buy then you just haveto suck it up! When The Da Vinci Code first came out the wait list was 100+!! BUT the Library did get more copies so, although there was still a wait, it was reduced.

I tend to request books as soon as I hear about them, usually after reading reviews on them. I immediately request them (and this can be done when they have been ordered by the Library but not yet delivered) and usually I dont have to wait too long. I have 5 – 10 books on request at anytime and I am rarely with out a library book. A fabulous service!

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