Would you mind if I complained about something really quick? Kat wanted me to hate something about Ithaca. I think hate is way too strong a word for this, but get ready for some strong feelings of annoyance:
The library here is only so-so.
I was very spoiled in Tucson (and Provo). Tucson/Pima County's libraries worked like multiple branches of the same tree. I could log on to the system, request a book, tell it which library to go to, and then waltz in at my convenience to pick it up. There were a few times when the library didn't have a book I wanted, so I got into the habit of submitting book requests for those times. And guess what? More often than not, they bought the book I wanted, and then told me they had done so, and then automatically put it on hold for me. Yes, it's true.
Let me tell you how it works in Ithaca, at least so far as I can figure out (and I would just love to find out that I'm misinformed on any of these points).
There are multiple branches of Tompkins County libraries, but only kind of, because they're not all in Tompkins County. But the system still searches all those far-away libraries and returns results for them in their online catalog.
If you want to check out a book that the Ithaca library doesn't have (and chances are it doesn't have it, or if it does have it, it only has one copy), you can place a hold on it, and they will ship it in from the far away library. But as I found out the other day (you know, when I almost got a ticket), this service costs 50 cents per book.
When the librarian told me that picking up my library book from the hold desk would cost me 50 cents, I was taken aback. So I asked her what my alternative was. She said, "Alternative for what?" I said, "Alternative for getting a book I want that is not currently on the shelf in the Ithaca branch of the library." And do you know what she told me, after a moment of thought? "Well, I guess you could just check on its status online and wait for it to come in." "Magically of its own accord, with me using all my hours and hours of free time to sit in front of my computer screen and hit 'refresh'" was implied.
This made me sad. I thrive on a good library and I wither away without one.
Fortunately, we have access to Cornell''s library, and we can even get books shipped from other cooperative libraries (for free) straight to Jeremy's office. So I hope he has fun explaining to his colleagues why he is suddenly receiving books like Catching Fire (sequel to The Hunger Games, could not BE more excited)!
So there you have it. That's my damage. I'm disappointed in the library. Ithaca is not perfect. Are you happy now?