Today was a good day to go to the library. I had the day off, Jon needed some new reading material, and I had to pick up a book on reserve. I love libraries, always have, and I generally rely on them to have a pretty good selection. I know that a lot of times they have to work within the confines of a budget and they can't always buy every single book known to man.
Yesterday, I checked the online database to see if they had the second book in the Stephanie Plum series. According to the site, they had three copies, two of which were available, and one large print edition currently checked out. I didn't think we'd have a problem getting one of the available copies.
The paperback section where they would have been was gone. Figuring the library had done a book integration, I checked regular shelves. They weren't there either. Finally, I just asked. Come to find out, they got rid of them. I'm not sure exactly what that means, whether they stripped them for credit and or boxed them up for a sale, but it kind of irritated me. Their excuse was that the books weren't in good enough shape to keep.
Here's my thoughts on this, and if anyone out there works in a library and would like to set me straight, please do.
If a library already have limited resources, why would they throw away readable books ? They said they weren't in “good enough” shape to keep, but we saw them last time we were there (too bad we didn't have the foresight to actually pick one of the copies up then) and they weren't brand new but they weren't ready for the shredder. If a book is not falling out of its spine, it should be kept so that the public can enjoy it, especially if the library in question don't have any other copies! Okay, so maybe they have the LP edition...so what? Not everyone needs LP! Did someone maybe complain because a book was not so aesthetically pleasing? I doubt it...most book lovers I know understand that a book for public consumption is bound to have a few quirks. It's a sign that it's been used for it's purpose...literary entertainment.
If space were an issue, I could understand that too. If a library is limited and has o get rid of the older books to bring in some of the newer more popular ones, okay. But walking through our library is kind of sad. There are shelves that are completely empty.
It looks like we'll have to find the book another way, probably at Hastings, and while it's not the end of the world, the whole situation is irritating. I was spoiled by the OKC Metro Library, so maybe I just expect more, but it really was a let down to be excited about reading the book to find out it wasn't available.
Does anyone else feel my pain?