05 June 2009

What Kind of Name is Malmstrom Anyway?

I've been abusing the library's hold system for about two years. I will put a checked-out book on hold even when there is a perfectly good checked-in copy on the shelves. I have a very good reason though.

Lets say I want to read AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister. Because, really, who wouldn't? Now lets say that my local library has acquired a couple copies of this book. One of these copies happens to be checked-in and the other happens to be checked-out. I have two options,

1-- I can drag 2 to 4 children (depending on the time of the year) to the knitting section of the library where they will fuss, pout, whine, and generally annoy while I look for this book. Of course the knitting section happens to be right next to the turn-off-your-cell-phone study area. So every quiet squeak and every not-so-quiet yell will be met by the glares and sighs of those who were fortunate enough to escape their children, or possibly chatty roommates, to study at the library.

or 2-- I can put a hold on the already checked-out copy of this book. When it is returned I will be notified by email and it will be placed on the holding shelves and labeled with the first four letters of my last name: MALM. The holding shelves are conveniently located next to the self check-out stations thus allowing me to quickly come in, pick up the requested books, check them out, and leave with out having to talk to anyone. I don't really like talking to strangers at the library.

Though perhaps an abuse of the system it is obviously the better choice.

Today I had 10 books that were ready to be picked up. I don't keep track of the titles, I just keep track of the number. It's faster that way. I look on the M shelf and grab every book that is labeled MALM. When I have the right number of books I know I've found them all and proceed to check out. Sometimes I don't even know what I've got until I get back in the car.

Today I proceeded to the holding shelves and picked up all the MALMs. I counted-- I had 10. On my way to check-out I noticed one of the books was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I thought that was a little weird because I own Pride and Prejudice. I decided to look at my books more closely. I checked the title against the list on my account. I realized not only did I have a book that I hadn't requested, I didn't have one of the books I had requested.

Obviously there had been a mistake. I found a librarian and explained the situation.

"Why do you think that Pride and Prejudice is a mistake? Maybe it's not for you." she asked.
"Uh . . . it has my name on it."
"What . . . you think you're the only MALM in the area?"
"Yes. Actually I do."

Apparently I am not.

A quick search of the phone book yielded no less than 4 Malmstroms and I'm pretty sure one of them was wandering around the library today with my copy of Danny the Champion of the World.

I'll tell you what Ms. Malmstrom . . . if you stop touching my books, I'll stop touching yours.

*I feel like I can safely say "Ms." at this point. It was Pride and Prejudice after all.


Pmom@ChocolateandGarlic.com said...

My question: if there is only one copy of the book and it is *not* checked out does your library allow you to reserve it? My library does not. My previous library did. I really miss that. Of course, for a long time, they charged $.25 per hold. For me (small child problem), it was totally worth it. Also, my previous library allowed me to put a book on hold for a week. Current library: three days. My holds are always expiring! It drives me crazy.

I will say this in defense of my current library: I have seen several books there I think you would love (knitting, etc.). Your library card gives you privileges here. You might want to check it out.

One more comment in praise of my previous library: the libraries in the region were all linked together. So, if we lived there instead of here, and your library had a book I wanted (checked out or not), I could reserve it and put it on hold. Then I could go to my library and pick it up. I could return it to my library. It made their collection much larger. It was wonderful and totally worth the $.25 (although they eventually did away with the fee). Maybe we need to get on our local library boards and advocate for change . . .

Beth said...

Pmom-- No they won't let me reserve it. I have to wait until the one that is checked out comes back in.

Fortunately they don't charge a $.25 fee. I might be in the poor house if they did.

My library will hold the books for 5 days--which is just about perfect.

I have heard your library has some good knitting books. I may have to check that out next time I'm in that area. Though I agree it would be nice if they would share the books like you mentioned. We should advocate change.

QueenMeadow said...

That is such a brilliant idea! I got kicked out of the quiet study area because my boys chose to have a fight the second I turned my back, lol. I go to the Orem library now, they fight less there for some reason :P

Shell said...

Okay, did you check out the AntiCraft book or do you own it. Just looking it up on Amazon makes me want to own it. Does your library actually have it and can I look at it before I beg Matthew for it?

Kristin said...

I love that idea! I have given up on going to the library for books for me. Unless I want to get a kid book. I take it your library is the Provo Library right? Do you know if the Orem library is as easy to reserve books?

Jessieksj said...

Dude, i think Ms. MALM**** is someone messin with you :)

Alice said...

You know what is even better than the library??? Paperbackswap.com. You don't even have to leave your computer! The most you would have to do is have your kid wrap the book with the printed out address and postage and run it to the mailbox and lift the flag! Ahhhhhhh I heart!

Beth said...

Meadow-- As you know by know, I am full of brilliant ideas!

Shell-- I have it on hold and am still waiting for it.

Kristin-- I do go to the Provo Library. I think you can hold books at the Orem Library too, but I'm not 100% sure.

Jessie-- You might be right. I'll have to investigate further.

Alice-- I am definitely going to check that out.