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August 26, 2011 / beckymoore

Dear Libraries: Think Outside the Box

I love the library.

But this year, it’s getting on my last nerve. I bet, on average, I check out two hundred books a year. One of the greatest tools I discovered a couple years ago was the online catalogue that lets me request titles from other locations in our county. When they’re in, I get an e-mail and go pick them up. Easy peasy.

But I found out in late May, after asking the media specialists (whom I still call “Librarians,” much to their chagrin) why the new release section had books I’d read two months prior; they said that no new books would be coming in until around August. Budget cuts, you see.

Well, I don’t see. I was there yesterday to pick up two books for my mother, and since I didn’t have any on hold, decided to browse the shelves for myself. What a disappointment. So I asked the media specialist, again, why aren’t there any new books. She said that because of budget cuts, no new books had come in … BUT she was happy to announce that no branches had to be closed and no staff had been lost.

That’s spectacular news. It really is. But I want our libraries to think outside the box. Use some of the collected creativity represented in the thousands of stories, encyclopedias, and how to manuals gracing the library shelves and be creative. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. I’ve donated to the Friends of the Library Fund in the past, and am happy to give again … but you have to re-open the fund to actually get money. Re-instate it. Yesterday.
  2. Shuffle books amongst the library locations in the county. Like, really physically move them around from one place to another. Don’t fall victim to the stereotype of un-physical bookworms; flex those muscles and show the county how buff you are, mentally and physically.
  3. Now shuffle books amongst counties. For heaven’s sake, there are 100 counties in North Carolina. I can only search the card catalogue for Wake County, and really the only books I find are the result of my own brainstorming of topics and authors.
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2 Comments

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  1. Rita / Aug 26 2011 10:28 am

    All excellent ideas Becky. I would think that moving the books around from one library to another might be the easiet and cheapest way. While I wouldn’t expect any library to physically move all their books at one time…maybe by sections (romance, mystery, biographies, childrens, etc.) Aren’t trucks used to transfer books from one area to another anyway? Having retired from a company that invented ( I think! ) downsizing I’m extremely glad that no layoffs or closings have resulted from a cut in funding. But no service can remain if it’s not used successfully.

  2. beckymoore / Aug 26 2011 11:11 am

    Thanks Rita. Good point on moving books in groups … absolutely that is what I should have said. Or, even if they move a portion of each grouping that would be good. I said to the media specialist that if the community thinks there are no more new books, then the libraries would likely face shutting down for entirely different reasons. I love to re-read good books, but I seem to be in the minority.

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