Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The weekend at the college didn't turn out like you planned

coloring - it's what we do

“However nimbly they have adapted, modernised, lost books and gained technology, become determinedly ‘functional’ as invaluable resource centres rather than bookstores, the libraries are always needing to boost their profile. They need more borrowers and yet one of their biggest problems, in my experience, is that ‘borrowing’ is not a readily understood modern concept, however well-embedded it was in Carnegie’s day.”

—Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor for The Guardian, in “Whatever Happened to Book Borrowers?” The Guardian Books Blog, Apr. 29.
This is the weirdest thing. I hear this sometimes as often as twice in a 4-hour shift - a patron who just doesn't get that at the LIBRARY, you BORROW books, not buy them. And I'm not talking about people who ask if a title is "in stock": the vocabulary of retail is perfectly understandable in the library setting.

No, I'm talking about the college kid, who, when informed that he could pick up the item in question at the city library right away if he drove over there, but that he would have to get his county library card registered with their system in order to borrow it, replied, "No, that's ok, when I get there I'll probably just buy it."

On a different but very slightly related note, when was the last time you listened to Loudon Wainwright III? "The Acid Song" alone should ensure his place in history.