I am trying very hard to turn over a new leaf and rely more on my public library.
BUT THEY ARE MAKING IT VERY HARD.
The other night I decided to see if they had a DVD and a book that I’m interested in using as supplemental material in my A People’s Readalong. I was all proud of myself for remembering to go to the library’s website and do a search, and then I was all excited because they had both items. “Sweet!” I thought, and gave myself a little pat on the back.
Because I didn’t have my library card right in front of me, I added both items to a list before I went and grabbed the card and logged in. And then I couldn’t figure out how to reserve the items off of the list. I clicked on some button that said “move” and encountered this message:
“The feature you have selected is associated with personal data in your patron account. Such data may be accessed by law enforcement personnel without your consent. Do you wish to continue?”
WTF, library?? Are you fucking kidding me?? (And how ironic is it that I’m getting that message while searching for stuff that Howard Zinn wrote.) I almost gave up in disgust, because, really, I expect more from my library. A lot more. You know, like an assurance that law enforcement better have a search warrant in hand, or something like that. That message just gives the impression that they’re in cahoots with law enforcement.
Anyhoosie. I reminded myself that libraries can be good and I should support them and why am I even letting this bother me since I’m not up to no good (although I’m having serious reservations (about the library, not about being up to no good)). A few deep breaths later and I got my items reserved (I had to start over though, because that list thing was worthless…on top of everything else, their website sucks) only to discover that the fee to reserve a book (which I have to do because of course the branch in my own town doesn’t have the items I want) has gone up from 50 cents to $1. Per item. Which I can afford, but it’s the principal of the matter. What if I couldn’t afford it? What if I was poor and wanted to know how to build a bomb?? Would the police come knocking at my door?? Oh wait, no…they wouldn’t, because I wouldn’t be able to fucking afford the fee to get the damn book in the first place.
Umm, yeah. So I’m back to feeling pissy about our county library system. They sure know how to suck all of the joy out of finding books.
And yes, in the end I reserved the books (The People Speak and Voices of A People’s History of the United States…see, there’s no need to spy on me), but it left a very bad taste in my mouth. This is not how my 12 for 12 is supposed to be working out for me (this library thing is supposed to support my goal of buying fewer books, and it’s supposed to make me happy, dammit). It’s a very good thing I didn’t put clean up my potty mouth on that list. But I think I need to work on that yoga thing some more. Or at least start chanting “Serenity now…”