Thursday, August 21, 2008

Four at a time.

I am falling in love with the library. First of all,
  • you can put books on hold without going to the library or calling the library, because you can do it online!That immediately, of course, improves the library situation to a faretheewell. This is how I was able to procure the two French police procedurals I desperately needed to read, and without buying them. Of course, having read them, now I have to buy them. In fact, I've ordered them already, but that's really another story.
After the library's robot calls you to tell you that your books have been placed on a special shelf, specially for you, then you go to the library to pick them up and check them out. And then,
  • you can check the books out without talking to a librarian, because they have a scanner dealio. And then, you can get a printout of the books you just checked out. Without talking to a librarian. (This reminds me of when singing son had spent some time at a university library, and had this pithy observation to make: "There are two kinds of librarians: nice ones, and mean ones." I will leave you to guess which kind he had encountered in the temple of learning.)
As a note, I don't believe I have any undue fear of librarians. But I do so love to slip in and out of institutions with only the machines to register that I've been there.

Anyway: besides the internet reservation system, and the robot phone lady, and the scanner dealio, the best thing about the library is finding books you didn't know about. For instance, a new Icelandic book, which wasn't as good in some ways as the other Icelandic books I was reading, but was still interesting and worthwhile. Or a book on the Middle Ages that makes the engaging argument that new archaeological evidence shows that the era was neither Dark nor an Age (discuss). Also, this book set in Laos, a detective novel and political thriller and ethnography and I don't know what all.

In addition to the latter two, which I am currently in the middle of, tonight we stopped at the King's English to buy books for two granddaughters. While there, I picked up a book and another book, both by my friends. I've started them both and they're both splendid. No reason not to proceed in this parallel fashion. The only one I think I might not finish is the Middle Ages one--unfortunately, the thesis seems to be the whole book. But I might finish looking at the pictures.


  1. I like the phrase "library's robot". Possible band name?

  2. I want to read Anne's book when you are done, bring it with you?

  3. Oh! Oh! I too love the library! When the library's robot calls, I run around the house instructing other occupants (mainly my husband) NOT to answer the phone because I like hearing the robot tell me my books are waiting for me.

    I might put something on hold, just so the robot will call me soon.

  4. I don't have a robot call, just an email. Maybe I should switch? And now, with the pick up system where you can get your own books off reserve, you might never have to speak to a human librarian. There's one at my library who tries to interact without speaking. Maybe it's a disease they pass around in MLS school.

  5. Ah. Thanks for the linkage, friend. I am gratified.



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