Librarians, Do Not Read This

No, I mean it. I know, you’re thinking “Oh, she means librarians other than me” or “I’m just a reference librarian” or “I used to be a librarian, but I’m not now.”


I’m warning you. Do not look beneath this fold.

Dead possum, ribs showing

Sorry, non-librarians. Librarians, I am not sorry.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve lived here since 1999. Today, I finally got a library card. In my defense, I work someplace with a lovely library. I just was in the mood to go to my own, neighborhood library.

So, finally, I got a library card.

It was nice.

But shoot, the Bordeaux library is depressingly light on books. Like tons of shelves, especially in the non-fiction section, with maybe five books on them.

But I’m happy to be a card-carrying Nashvillian now.

The Butcher made terrible fun of me. He said I might as well not vote if I’m not going to have a library card.

I was like “You don’t even read!” but he said, “Still, I have a library card.”

16 thoughts on “Librarians, Do Not Read This

  1. That does sound depressing. But you know you’re part of the Nashville library system, right? You can request anything and they’ll send it to your branch.

  2. Congrats! My library card is probably the coolest thing in my enormous Mary Poppins tote bag.

  3. What nm said. My local library is one of the old Carnegie libraries, and it’s tiny.

    I use the hell out of the request system. It’s awesome. They’re very careful about letting people know what you’re borrowing, too. (Thank you, John Ashcroft!)

    Enjoy the riches!

    One thing to keep in mind, though, when you’re searching the catalog, is that it lists things that aren’t in the collection. That can be disappointing. But there’s always an option to narrow your search results to what they do have so that it doesn’t break your heart.

    There is a larger, statewide interlibrary loan program, but I’ve never used it.

  4. I’ve lived in our town now for almost 5 years, and this is the first time I’ve never had a library card in a town I’ve lived in. I had library cards in all 3 towns I lived in in Illinois, the 5 towns I lived in in WA state, and 2 of the 3 towns in MN. The only excuse I have is that I usually buy my books because I like to read them again and again, years down the road, and I like to take my time reading them. I don’t want to check a book out of the library and be limited on the amount of time I have to read it, even though I can usually get through most books in a day or less. I still want the option of being able to start the book, put it down, and pick it up a month later to finish if I get distracted.

  5. Dude. Not only will they send any book, movie, etc to your local branch…you get an email notification saying, “Hey, swing by after work and pick me up.”

    But wait…there’s more!

    With your iPhone you can borrow digital books without leaving your house.

    They also have video games, but I don’t play video games.

  6. I had my library card taken away for excessive fines. Now my husband checks out all my books. It’s better to have never had a card than to fuck it up, i guess.

  7. Interlibrary loan is easy to use and if you’re researching anything–a must. Books from most anywhere, even print-outs of pieces in obscure old journals come your way, free. The card’s apass to a system, not just your locla branch.

  8. I love having my library card. Our libraries are small-ish, but they are tied into Inter-Library Loan.

    I used to be able to go into Tampa and borrow from their larger libraries, but their county decided that maintaining the “reciprocal borrowing agreement” between three local counties was costing them too much money. Now if I want to check-out books in Tampa, I have to buy a non-county-resident library card…for $100/year.

    Just to add hilarity to the sorry situation, Tampa is still tied into Inter-Library Loan. If I want a book that Tampa has, that my county libraries don’t, I can request it from my home computer, and Tampa will pay a librarian to pull the book and ship it, and pay for the shipping to my local library. They only stopped me from walking in and checking-out the book on-the-spot.

  9. B, you know I had to look anyway, right? Librarians are a curious bunch, it was inevitable. I will echo what others have said – go online, request whatever you want from the whole system delivered to your local branch. You can also make suggestions for things you think they should buy for the system. Also? I use Goodreads to track what I want to read – then I take my to-read list there and check it against the catalog for what’s available, and then request delivery or holds on things that aren’t.

    Coble! Now I know what to get you as a present sometime – library fine payments. :) Seriously, though, that has happened to me, too. And I’m a librarian! I was, for a brief period, barred from checking anything out of the work library system for fines. I reason that it’s just because I love books so much! ;)

  10. I do not judge.

    I think I have some overdue bills to pay to Nashville Public, and I *am* a librarian!

  11. Jessamy, I decided it was a possum, though it looked like a cat from a distance, based on the bare hands.

    Y’all should be a commercial for the Nashville library! And yes, I know you can get books from any branch (and believe me, I plan on it). But the pleasure of browsing is… lessened… if there aren’t books to browse.

    But there were a ton of people there! That was cool.

  12. I think those in my profession are hard-wired to ignore any instructions to avoid information. Felicitations on getting your library card; I hope you have a long-running and steamy affair with it. I also hope that your library recovers from the current economic situation and is able to buy more books for the browsing.

  13. I know there are all sorts of rational explanations for this but it still makes me feel sad. It also makes me feel glad I’m not working as a librarian presently because I picture having to have a four hour staff meeting over this where nothing is resolved. Then again, faculty meetings are not a model of efficiency either.

    Library fines are like speeding tickets. If you’ve never had one you’re kind of weird. :)

  14. Oh, SuperGenius, I sat through one of those meetings this morning. There’s something about librarians that they’ll talk an idea to death, then table it until next time, in order to avoid offending anyone by making a decision.

    My school doesn’t charge late fines, but y’all just reminded me that I need to renew my books!

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