Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Here’s where I talk about missing our beloved Glenview Public Library

We wanted to listen to the new Mr. Lemoncello book on audio because the first one was so much fun. So, I looked at the Alachua County Library to reserve it on CD. They had no CD versions. So, I reserved it for Overdrive. It arrived, fairly promptly but the check out time was HORRENDOUS… a week? 10 days? I don’t know but NOT long enough. No big deal, I thought because I can just renew it, like I could with Overdrive books checked out from the Glenview library.

Hahaha. Not so much.

I had to actually RE-RESERVE it and wait for it to be re-delivered to me. THAT WAS ANNOYING and FRUSTRATING and I MISS THE GLENVIEW LIBRARY SYSTEM. (Though I do also appreciate Alachua County’s library… the auto-renew thing is awesome. I love that.)

Anyway, about Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics… totally fun. Obviously. I highly recommend it.

Three Non-Fiction

Right before we went to Florida to close on our house (!!!) I saw these three books on the new arrivals shelf at our library and they looked good, so I grabbed them. I’m glad I did, I enjoyed them all. (I might have to check out Color Labs again, if one of my new libraries has it…)

Improbably Libraries was fun — I need a little free library for my front yard.

The Public Library made me want to travel around the world and visit ALL of the libraries.

Color Lab made me wish I had time to paint. Wah!

The Non-Fiction Is Back!

A few weeks ago, we went into the library and while chatting with one of our favorite librarians I sorrowfully noted the lack of non-fiction in our stacks and she excitedly said, “they’re coming back downstairs!” I couldn’t believe it.

After we filled out the survey — nothing happened. I didn’t see it mentioned in the library newsletter or on their blog(s) so I thought maybe nothing would change and I has pretty much resolved to mourn non-fiction for the next two years.

But no — overwhelming support for bringing the non-fiction back. I didn’t blog about it because I didn’t want to jinx it. We were so darn excited early in the week when we ran in to pick up some holds and there was the non-fiction! So excited that I think we checked out 10 non-fiction just because we were so thrilled. (The travel guides didn’t make the move back downstairs — that’s disappointing since I’m a spur of the moment travel guide browser but that’s ok. Who has time to travel right now or even dream about travel right now, anyway. No big deal.)

Thank you Glenview Public Library for asking for patron feedback and then taking action on that feedback. Yippee! Long live non-fiction!

A Survey!

We went to the library yesterday to pick up the reserves that were waiting for me. While I grabbed those, TW went over to the new arrivals section. The FICTION new arrivals, obviously. I joined her and was ready to go when I saw a man walk around to where the non-fiction new arrivals USED TO BE. He scratched his head and looked around and muttered to himself.

I chuckled.

Then, he asked a librarian where the non-fiction new arrivals were — I mouthed what she said, as she said it, “Upstairs with the rest of the non-fiction.” I chuckled some more. Not exactly happy that someone else was as annoyed by this as I am but … yea, glad it’s not just me and TW and some of the librarians who think this was stupid.

As I’m chuckling and muttering about this to myself, I hear the librarian call him to the research desk and tell him to fill out a survey… because they are taking a survey about this issue.

What?! A survey? Let me in on that. (And how come they blogged about moving the books but didn’t blog about taking a survey to find out how folks felt about the move? Whatevs.)

I rushed over and asked if I could fill out the survey too. I chatted with the guy and that librarian about how much I hated the nonfiction books being up there. The librarian nodded and said “A lot of people agree with you. That’s why we’re doing the survey.”

I ran back to TW and told her about the survey and made her go take it, too.

I was all giddy about this.

A SURVEY! They are taking a SURVEY! Maybe we’ll get our non-fiction new arrivals back downstairs where they belong. But even if they don’t — at least they’re doing the right thing and asking library patrons how they feel about this. That’s a step in the right direction.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Best book from the Cybils shortlist so far this year! I loved Escape From Mr Lemoncello’s Library and I’m extra glad we listened to it on audio.

We chuckled our way through it and were sad when it ended. Equally sad that Nickelodeon optioned it for a TV movie. Sure wish Pixar would have grabbed it. It would make a great movie — and a great theme park attraction.

Segregating New Arrivals

I love my library, the Glenview Public Library. I don’t know how many times and how many ways I’ve said it since we arrived in Chicagoland just under six years ago.

My library is large. It’s a brand new facility, opened not too long after we moved here. At first, we missed the tiny little building it used to be but we’ve grown to love the big space — plenty of room for new books!

The librarians are outstanding. Really excellent. They’re friendly and helpful and go out of their way to resolve the occasional problem. When we leave this godforsaken place in a little more than two years, our library and our librarians will be missed.

Which is all why it pains me to write this blog post.

I am really disappointed with the recent decision to segregate the new arrivals — the non-fiction new arrivals have been moved upstairs, with the other non-fiction. The reading club books have been moved to the shelves that used to hold the non-fiction new arrivals.

This pains me. In more ways than one.

We go to our library at least twice a week. We check out dozens of books, of all kinds — and I do mean all kinds — every time we go. Almost every time we visit, we peruse the new arrivals and almost every time, we pluck at least one non-fiction book from the new arrivals shelf. Biographies, poetry, cookbooks, craft books, self-help, travel guides — you name it, we’re interested in it. (Those who read my blog fairly regular know how often I say, “I don’t know how this ended up on our library cart.” — or “I plucked this from the new arrivals shelf.” SO OFTEN. This happens because we peruse the new arrivals shelves so often.)

Because we often visit our library early in the morning or during a lunch break, we have very little time to peruse the stacks. We grab our holds from the holds shelf, we walk to the new arrivals shelves and then we check out. In and out in 15 minutes, which includes chit chatting with our favorite librarians.

With the non-fictions all the way upstairs … we just do not have time to go all of the way up those stairs and back down again, (even if my knee could handle all of the stairs), or deal with the elevator to get up there to look at the non-fiction new arrivals.

And lest you think this is all about me — In this time of library budget cuts, we’re lucky that we’ve got a fairly strong budget — you want to keep that budget, don’t you? Think about those who aren’t heavy library users. The occasional visitor. You want those people to be able to see the wealth of resources and entice them to check out a wide variety of books, just as quickly as you possibly can. You do this by having really interesting displays in easy to access areas. Like the new arrivals shelves. By hiding the new arrival non-fictions upstairs, you’re doing a bloody good job of keeping those books out of circulation. Shouldn’t one of your biggest goals be to get books circulating?

I polled my friends and family members about their libraries, assuming I was over-reacting. None, not a single person, said that their new arrivals were segregated in this way. None. They aren’t all in exactly the same area but they are all very in visible browsable spaces and absolutely not segregated to different floors!

Come on Glenview Public Library — think this through. You’re a big library but you’re not Chicago Public Library or New York Public Library big. There’s no need for this.

You’ve removed highly circulated books from a high visibility, browsable area in favor of non-browsable and low circulated books being in a browsable, highly-visible area. Nobody wandering around the library is going to decide to a) join a book club b) choose books for their book club via those shelves. That’s just now how book clubs work. Shouldn’t you know that?

I was trying to give the Glenview Public Library the benefit of the doubt — maybe they need more space for new fiction that’s coming in? But I took a look at the shelves where the book club books used to be and those are empty. Completely empty. And even if this decision was made to help free up space downstairs for fiction — I think there are better ways to do that.

– Move the book club books upstairs, maybe? Wouldn’t that seem like a smarter move?
– Reduce the number of new arrivals you display — though I’d be disappointed, that would at least make some sense.
– The first row of new arrivals is not a very eye-catching display. Just do away with it or move it to the area by the rental books, that frees up an entire shelf right there.

I need to run to the library and pick up some reserves, as well as books for this weekend’s #readathon and the very idea depresses me. It’s only been a couple of weeks since the non-fictions moved and it just makes me sad every time I go in, now.

What Would I Do Without My Awesome Library?

Seriously. What would I do? I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have my library. I’ve read about 200 books already this year, from my library, and TW’s probably read twice that many. TW’s mom has probably also read twice that many. Yes, there was some crossover between the books I read and the books TW read but still… that’s hundreds and hundreds of books that we would never be able to afford to buy — even on Kindle.

I don’t know how people who don’t use their library manage. Do they really have that much money to spend on books? Or do they just not read? Both things kind of freak me out, ya know?

Books, Books, and More Books

I’m tired this morning, (though I did sleep slightly better last night), and didn’t feel like doing any of the things on any of my to do lists before I “officially” started work this morning. So, I ran to my library and dropped off some of the books we’ve read this week, including one very over-due book.

I try really hard not to have over-due library books but every now and then it does happen. Usually because a kid has hidden a book where I can’t access it or because it’s fallen behind another stack of books or something weird like that. In this case, it’s because it took TW a lot longer to read a book than normal. (She’s not feeling well or sleeping well, either.)

.40 is totally worth paying, though.

The $1 I paid to check out a DVD last week is totally worth it, too.

My library is awesome. I can’t imagine life without it. I don’t understand how people can go months/years/lifetimes without visiting the library. It just makes no sense.

Just like makes no sense.

If your kids read Captain Underpants, they won’t turn into horrible human beings.

If your kids read The Kite Runner, be proud that you have a smart kid. I mean, seriously.

And Tango Makes Three, challenging that one is just plain silly. It’s about penguins, for godsake.

Beloved? Really? You want to challenge Toni Morrison? Please.

None of it makes any sense.

Go hang out in your library and read some challenged books. I’m going to read 50 Shades of Grey this month, (one of the side benefits of getting RJ’s room clean — I found all the missing books!)

Smart About Reserves

Late in 2010 and during the early days of 2011, I started seeing posts and comments about being smarter about reserving books at the library. Cool. It’s nice to know that it isn’t just me and Sassymonkey who’ve been thinking about this and struggling with having too many books checked out at once.

When I started struggling with this in October, I thought it was just because the library had been closed for so long – I hadn’t been able to read books I wanted to read and I over-reserved. But, I think that was only part of it. There are just too many good books and not nearly enough time to read them. And living with TW who reads twice as many books as I do just makes it harder. If I pick up 10 holds and she plucks 20 or 30 off the shelves, every week, there’s just no way I can manage that kind of load. So. I’m reserving fewer books at once, trying to stagger them as much as possible, reserving what I really want or need to read rather than just any thing I’ve heard about that might be interesting. I can always supplement the reserved books with TW’s stash or with books from my own darn shelves. Right?

This is what my library cart looked like on Thursday. (All of the library books that TW and I check out for our own use, not for the kids or her mother, are placed on the top shelf of the library cart. Books we’re finished with go into the tote bags hanging from both sides.)

Normally that top shelf is overflowing with books – double and triple stacked.

On Friday morning, we went to the library and picked up some holds and of course other books that we just pulled from the shelves, and this is what it looked like when we came home.

That’s about half of what we’d normally have put on the cart after a library trip.

It makes me a little nervous to see the almost empty shelf. But, I’m not finding myself having to return unread books and I haven’t had to dip into my own stacks – yet. (And neither has TW.)

Let’s see how long before we’re overflowing with library books again…any bets?

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Fine. I’m a Freak.

My library’s website is down. It’s going to be down until April 23rd. I’m more than a little freaked out by this. I’ve already logged in and tried to reserve things today, even though I knew it wasn’t going to let me. This morning, it just spun it’s wheels when I clicked the reserve button. But now… now I see this….


I’m not sure I’m going to survive until April 22nd. I need my library website. I need it BAD.

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