Friday, February 01, 2002

The meter readers take all the care in the world not to trample our glorious bed of tulips; it's easy to see that they graciously comply with our request. On the other hand, there's a goon who feels free to drive his pit bull right through the midst of each segment of our front garden. After last year's depredations out front, we don't feel inclined to devote any more attention to that lost cause. Yesterday I happened for the first time to check my on-line library account. Much to my surprise I found that a book returned just this past Saturday was shown as not having been checked in. When I sent e-mail to this effect to the anomymous library e-mail address, I got a reply immediately mentioning the Library's Contested Overdue Process. It's a good thing that before I read that I received and read a very nice letter from the branch in question reporting the book returned to the shelf. Apparently this process involves having the library report that it tried to find the book and didn't. "If it still is not located the patron is asked to pay for the book." It's truly sad that there are so few new books of any kind and that many of the ones worth reading again have been deaccessioned (case in point--Pamela Hansford Johnson, whose novels are stirring interest again). When an author's works have gone out of print but are worthy, where else but in a library would one expect to find them? The cases of Sybille Bedford and Sylvia Townsend Warner are similar, though I believe that a small press (Counterpoint?) has just reissued one of them. Whenever I see the word "withdrawn" in the catalogue, it's my bet that that's what's happened. I do love the remote-access feature, though, and it's certain that being able to check my account kept me from having been accused of keeping a book out until overdue. Thank goodness for the TexShare card!.


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