Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Library Experience

I have been experiencing some frustration with our local library. Some of the issues have been:

• a lack of many of the books (mostly historical fiction) that I would love access to for our homeschooling

• the fact that they hold books you reserve for only 5 days (which means if you go to the library once a week, you need to make a special trip to get your holds before they disappear)

• my account being frozen more than once for reasons that made no sense, cutting off my ability to reserve books

• the $2 they charge for sending out a late notice

• the limit of 2 renewals per book, instead of just continuing to renew it for as long as you need it (assuming no one else needs it); you can bring it in to show the librarian and then renew it again, but sometimes I just want to renew it again (and again) until it gets un-misplaced (doo-dee-doo)

• the prize drawing for the Winter Reading Program was for a gift certificate to a video game store (WHAT?!?!!??!!!!)

In the e-mail I sent requesting to have my account unlocked a few weeks ago I mentioned a couple of these things that were making the library (one of my favorite destinations normally!) a less friendly place to visit. My account got fixed right away (they are terrific at responding to e-mail requests), and they said they would forward my comments to the branch manager.

Yesterday evening, I popped in for a few minutes just to pick up some holds. The man at the checkout desk had a badge that identified him as the associate branch manager. I handed him the holds, along with an audio book that we had checked out that was missing one of the fourteen cds. He took the audiobook and apologized that the missing cd had not been noticed before we brought it home. Then (before I handed him our library card) he mentioned that he recognized my name and knew I had had a few issues recently and hoped that everything was working better now. (WOW!) I took the opportunity to mention the 5-day holds would sure be a lot more convenient if they were 7-day holds.

He said that they had recently changed their policy at that branch, and that they would now hold books for 7 days, even though the official library policy was five days. He said that's why he had recognized my name, because it was one of the comments discussed at the meeting and used to MAKE A CHANGE. I nearly fainted. To hear an institution actually took a patron's comments and right away made a concrete improvement based on those comments (and probably other similar comments!) just thrilled me. And that's what I do find about living in a small town over and over again. People really do look out for each other here. I expect those kinds of relationships in my own Jewish community, but when you can also find it in the community at large it's a very special thing.

So, for the 1,000th time, I am so very glad we moved to Savannah. I think it suits us very well! And I have many more warm feelings towards the library now.

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