Since I’ve worked in a library all of my adult life, I rarely need help finding a book from the other librarians. Since the current library I work at is an independent one, meaning it’s not connected to the county library system or a library consortium of any kind, I can’t request books I’m interested in to be picked up at my work library. Therefore, I’ve resorted into creating cards at other libraries. It started out with just two library cards because I thought we were going to be closer to my husband’s work where there’s a bigger library system than where I am, one with the big metro library system and an independent library in the town where husband works. But then we didn’t buy our house near there. Sure, I still use both of them, but it’s a little inconvenient, as the closest branch in the metro library system is 30 minutes as is the one in the “work” town.
Because this was 2020, it was hard to tell which libraries were officially open. I decided to create a library card in the county library system because I went grocery shopping in the same town as the main branch and thought I could pick up and/or return books there when I did grocery shopping. Well, it turns out the employees aren’t very good. Sure, they didn’t do anything to me, but I just got a distinct feeling from them that they didn’t like they’re job and didn’t wan to necessarily help the people there. I went to another branch in the system and while I liked that branch much better, there wasn’t any major grocery stores in town, making it a waste of time to go there at all.
I ended up creating two more cards not counting my work library card because I always thought the towns were cute (especially one of them as it’s a quaint 19th century college town), but I ended up not going there after a couple times because again, I had no reason to go there regularly since they didn’t seem to have shopping there.
Anyway, to get back to the original point, even as I’ve visited these new to me libraries, I’ve never has to ask for help from any of the librarians. The one time I needed help was to ask where they kept patrons’ items on hold. After that, I haven’t needed any help.
Mainly, because I know how books are organized at the library. I don’t need to ask the librarian where their true crime books are, I know they’re in the nonfiction area under 364, or that World War 2 is under 940. Having worked so long at one library or another has made the library as just another place on my “to-do” list. I’m going there to find certain books and get out there. I don’t want to sit at the tables with a book and just browse. I just want to get my book or movie and get home where I read the book in comfort.
As for the library card story I told you about, my only complaint is that there were more connected library systems up where I now live. I miss living in a county that had a county library system. Back then, if my main library where I worked didn’t have the book I was looking for, all I had to do was click “place hold” and when it was available, they would put it in a box and send it over to the branch that I requested it to be picked up at. I didn’t have to drive over to the next town over just to look for a book because they were all under the same library system! I can’t do that easily here and it makes me sad. Maybe this is why I prefer buying my books and having them sent to me rather than going to the library.
There are a lot of benefits to country living, but having connected libraries, close grocery shopping and other shopping stores aren’t one of them. Maybe that’s why they call it “living in the country.”