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To expect more from my local library?

(45 Posts)
mypoosmellsofroses Wed 05-Nov-14 21:28:16

Due to being utterly skint at the moment - both DH and I out of work, I went to my local library today to join. There's a big list of books I would buy if I had the cash, a mix of fiction, and non fiction.

Joined no problem and set off upstairs to non fiction all excited. There's no limit to the number of books you can take out and you can have them for 3 weeks before renewing/returning.

I couldn't find a single book on my list, and they weren't especially out there, bizarre academic tomes or anything. There was no history section at all, nothing. I had to ask someone in case I was being dim and had missed it sad Most of the the non fiction seemed to be travel guides and cook books. I mooched in psychology/sociology section and it was all self help books and vic lit. confused

I didn't check out the fiction today, was too disheartened by the non fiction. It's great that there's a meeting room for hire, lots of computers and they seem to do a lot of childrens sessions, but where are the bloody books???

It's quite a big library ( well the building is!) in a reasonable sized market town, AIBU to expect a more rounded selection of reading material?

Minikievs Wed 05-Nov-14 21:32:48

In my local one you can request a book and they'll get it in for you from another local library. Means a bit of a wait but maybe put a list together and ask them if they'll get a couple in and work through the list each time you go?

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 05-Nov-14 21:34:03

If you go to your local council web page and search in the library catalogue, you'll be able to see what is available in all the local libraries and you'll be able to request the ones you're interested in to be delivered to your local library. Sadly, in this day and age, libraries cannot afford to keep masses of stock on the shelves in the hope that someone will suddenly want to join and borrow them.

Or perhaps they do have a more rounded selection of material and it just happens to have been borrowed by other library users. In which case, you'll be able to find that out from the library catalogue.

WipsGlitter Wed 05-Nov-14 21:35:22

Did you ask them to order them for you? If they're recent publications they might not have them.

mypoosmellsofroses Wed 05-Nov-14 21:35:37

I think I will go in with my list, the woman on the desk was really nice, will see what she can dosmile I just have memories of using the library years ago and it seemed to have everything...today was just "library lite"!

pinkdelight Wed 05-Nov-14 21:35:38

You can order the books you want. They can't possibly have all the books people might want and the popular ones will be taken out already. They have the stuff their core readers tend to want. If you've only just joined then you aren't that core, but the fact that you can still get the stuff you want for free after a wait is brilliant I think. Yabu.

FairlyUseless Wed 05-Nov-14 21:38:12

Unfortunately libraries are the first to have budget cuts from councils tightening their belts. What were once fully stocked libraries are now shadows of their former selves as there is no money for replacing old/damaged stock or keeping the shelves full with newer titles. Professionally trained librarians are losing their jobs to untrained volunteers and self-service machines.

Please don't abandon your library. The online services are usually very good and you can reserve and order books from other branches got very little. This will help keep libraries open.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Wed 05-Nov-14 21:40:57

Many, many libraries across the length and breadth of the country are being closed because of lack of funding. You are very lucky indeed that you still have one you can access. If you want a particular book, the library can order it for you.

In that respect, YABVU

milkpudding Wed 05-Nov-14 21:45:54

At my local library you can order books in from other branches. At my previous local library they had e books to borrow from home. I have emailed my library twice to ask if they would purchase a book I wanted to read- both times they said yes and bought it.

Don't give up!

mypoosmellsofroses Wed 05-Nov-14 21:48:40

Just worked out that it must be nearly 30 years since I last used a library, so I was being very naive in imagining it would still be the same now, will definitely look into ordering, looks like I can do so online, just need to get a PIN from them.

Creatureofthenight Wed 05-Nov-14 21:57:06

Book funds have been repeatedly slashed, so when you've bought the usual suspect best sellers there sometimes isn't much money left, so the depth of available stock suffers. Often they are happy to buy specific titles that you request, or can get them from other branches.

Pandora452 Wed 05-Nov-14 22:00:49

Is it worth donating books to libraries? I read several books a week and usually end up eventually donating to charity, but if libraries can make use of the newer titles I'm happy to do tht

"There's no limit to the number of books you can take out"

There must be some limit surely?! DD would have the shelves stripped bare grin

Our library costs £1 to order a book in, so compares unfavourably with The Works. Esp if you are remiss with your returns and get fined at 20p per book per day hmm, my god but that adds up fast.

BuckskinnedAstronaut Wed 05-Nov-14 22:05:27

Books (non-fiction books, at least) go up at more than the rate of inflation, while library funds are generally going down. There's very little scope for collection development any more.

Pandora, they still need to pay someone to process the book (cover it and label it and catalogue it (although that might just be a matter of increasing copy count) and tattle-tape it, so they won't necessarily be interested just because the books themselves are free -- but they might be so it's worth talking to your local library. There might be particular categories of books they'd be very grateful for, for example.

AlpacaPicnic Wed 05-Nov-14 22:06:39

It is definitely worth asking about donating books but sometimes they will end up in the library sale if the librarian doesn't think there will be much demand for them. If this would bother you, and you wouldn't want them to do this, do ask the staff you speak to.

Libraries these days are stuck in a financial Catch-22... They don't have the funding to buy all the books that people want to read, but because they don't have the books that people want to read, then they don't get the customers which means that they don't get the funding...

Pandora, libraries always seem happy to take donations - DH gave ours his substantial Dickens collection (under severe pressure from me; 3 foot of bookshelf space, all available for free on his Kindle) which they were grateful for, apparently Dickens is a frequently nicked author. Who knew?

hugoagogo Wed 05-Nov-14 22:08:16

Don't worry-wait a couple of years and there won't be a library to moan about.

LittleBairn Wed 05-Nov-14 22:09:43

I had the exact same experience this year when I joined my local library the selection beyond high profile prolific authors was very poor.
And inter-library loans are £6!

mypoosmellsofroses Wed 05-Nov-14 22:10:20

Just checked leaflet and it says "borrow as many as you want" Presumably limited to what you can carry! Looking at the website the request charge is 50p, £3.50 if has to come from out of county.

hugoagogo Wed 05-Nov-14 22:16:21

The british library charges your local library about £20 for out of county loans so that £3.50 is a a heavily subsidised bargain.

JustSpeakSense Wed 05-Nov-14 22:17:07

Major cuts happening in libraries at the moment sad

Staff cuts, library closures & book funds have been slashed (so yes, stock may be old and there may be less variety)

Soon there won't be any libraries left anyway....

hugoagogo Wed 05-Nov-14 22:21:05

90% of staff where I work will lose their jobs in the next 2 years- this is a 'wonderful thing', because volunteers do such a wonderful 'professional' job and for free

SixerofthePixies Wed 05-Nov-14 22:29:29

We use the library lots. Here they charge you to order books in, but you can do it yourself online for free with your membership card.

MinuteMaid Wed 05-Nov-14 22:34:14

As others have said, libraries have taken massive funding cuts in recent years and are truly an endangered species.

Scholes34 Wed 05-Nov-14 22:56:20

My books are always overdue, so I'm doing wonders for the library's budget!

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