It has been brought to my attention that I am long overdue for an update.
Speaking of overdue, I am going to go on a brief diatribe on behalf of all the other somewhat disorganized people who enjoy reading out there.
It is VERY MEAN that the library (the Iowa City Public Library, anyway; I’m not sure about other municipalities) no longer stamps the due date inside the book as you check out. I realize that this practice has been out of favor for a decade or so, but it just occurred to me to write about it.
Look, people. I love books. When I go to the library, a lot of times I get several. Sometimes I read one faster than the others, so I return it and get a new one. Or else something I had on reserve comes in, so I go get that. Or else I get a DVD that is only available for one-week checkout. Regardless, I often have multiple items out that all have different due dates. Those little slips of paper that say what the due date is are NOT HELPFUL. They are printed on very slippery paper, so they always fall out, and they’re not substantial enough to use as bookmarks. Not that I use bookmarks anyway; I’m more into the turn-down-the-corner or shove-a-magazine-in-there methods. Yes, I love books, but I treat them wrong. I’m like Johnny Cash when he was on drugs, and books are June Carter. Andrea, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry. Sorry that I admited it! Hah!
Anyway, I always lose the slips of paper, and I never can remember when my books are due. This would all be remedied if they just did the stampy thing in the front of the book like the old days.
This is not to say that I am a reactionary when it comes to the library sciences. On the contrary. I celebrate recent advances in consumer library technology. For example, the ICPL now has self-check stations that I really enjoy, because sometimes I check out embarrassing things. I think I have a different threshold for embarrassment than most people, though. For example, I would not be embarrassed to check out a book called The Great Big Book of Boners and Buttholes and the Disease that Plague Them, because seriously, people; that’s comedy gold. However, there are times when I just want to read a trashy mystery novel, and I find it embarrassing to check those out.
Back in the old days, my friend Jamal worked at the library, and I would always try to have him check my books out for me, because I knew he wouldn’t judge me. Sadly, he got a different job, and I had to face my fears. Then, a couple of years later, they brought in the self-check stations, and I am able to cower behind my fears once again. It’s pretty great.
In my ideal world, they would have a little laser printer that would beam the due date onto my materials as I passed them under the scanner.
Andrea, please get to work on that. Thank you.