Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I got some odd questions the other day

They were from my brother. Apparently, he doesn't know anything about libraries.

This is odd, because when we were kids, we were in the library all the time. We like to read. Mostly, we still like to read, but I'm not doing that so much anymore because of my eyes.

Even people who don't particularly like to read generally become acquainted with libraries when they go to college. College libraries are different, with their odd number systems and such, but even when they don't use the Dewey decimal system I would think that they are primarily the same. You look up a book by name or author or subject, you get the number of the book (or the general area if it is fiction), and then you go and find the book (or the CD, or the DVD, or whatever). Then you check out the book or whatever, and they tell you to bring it back in two weeks (or three days, or three weeks, or whatever). And if you don't finish with it in that time, you bring in back and have it renewed, or at least you ask for that, but if someone else is waiting on the book you have to turn it in.

Apparently my brother has purchased so many books since college that he hasn't bothered to get his own library card. So fifteen years later, he doesn't know any of this stuff. So he's asking does the book have to be brought back on the due date, or is it already late by then? Can you renew books? How much does it cost to get a library card?

How much does it cost to get a library card?

Well, the thing about the public library is that it is for the public. It is usually free to the public, after you prove that you are part of the public that the library is for. So, to use the Dallas public library, you would show your driver's license and maybe bring some bills and such to prove that you live in Dallas, and then you get a library card for free. And if you don't live in Dallas, you get a library card in Fort Worth or Arlington or Irving or wherever you do live. And then if you want an extra library card where you don't live, like maybe a card for a library near where you work, then you might have to pay for that. But right now if you live in Texas you can probably just get the library card for where you live and then get a TexShare card from them, and then you take that card and you can use other libraries in Texas for free.

I'm trying to think of other libraries that you might have to pay for, but except for school libraries (which are "free" to the students and might charge for non-students), all the libraries I can think of are public libraries.

Maybe Blockbuster counts as a library?

Anyway, I always think that it is odd when a grownup doesn't already have a library card (unless he is new in town), much less totally doesn't have a clue about them. And this was all from someone who actually likes to read. Weird.


dmarks said...

My library is free for the card. However, for recent bestseller books, you pay a $1 rental when you check them out.

Ananda girl said...

Well I'm shocked. But that's because of being a librarian. I don't know what shocks me more... your brother's questions or that where dmarks goes they charge a buck for a popular book! Yikes. Charging money in a public library? We don't even charge late fees. Only damaged or lost book fees... and I have the power to excuse those.

Yes. I think that Blockbuster is video library.

Well, laughing... I am thrilled that you know libraries so well. It amazes me how many adults, including teachers, cannot figure out the simplest of things about them. I think some people get used to being waited on and just hope someone else will do everything for them. I like to search the stacks. But then, I even like the way the books smell.

dmarks said...

Then there are the libraries that let you check out regular ol DVD movies and TV shows.

Ours does not, but I have heard of libraries who do.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, I had never heard of a rental fee for a book at public library. We do sometimes have a fee to put something on reserve, which is slightly different from putting something on hold. If you want to check something out, and someone else already has it checked out, you put a hold on it so that he can't renew the book while you or someone else is waiting for it. Putting something on hold usually doesn't cost anything. Putting something on reserve can happen even before the library purchases the book. You can pay a fee to reserve the right to check out that book first, and then someone else can reserve the book second, and so on, and there could be a whole list of people reserving the book, and this mainly happens with new books (though it could also happen because a book is being made into a movie, the book was somehow in the news, or several people need the book for some project). Not quite the same as a rental fee, because only the people on this waiting list pay a fee. After those people (usually not that many) read the book and return it, it goes on the shelf with the regular books and no one pays a fee unless another list forms for it. I guess it is just to keep people from fighting over who gets the book first.

laughingattheslut said...

And yes, we have regular movies and TV shows on DVD, at the library, that you can checkout for free.

This wasn't always so. In the very beginning, the videos in the library had to be educational or of artistic merit. Apparently, being of artistic merit meant being foreign, or at least British. I think that the first video we ever rented from a library was Threads. Fun movie.

Our library now has The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover right there on the shelf with all the other normal movies like Casablanca and Star Wars, and they don't warn anybody, and I don't even think that they check IDs.

I know people get all upset about banning crap, but that one really was crap and I'm all for banning it.