Form?

Aside from having a relatively stress-free day today I took a call from a woman who wanted the movie Halloween. Sadly our copy must have been either damaged or stolen so we don’t currently own it. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Dumbass Public Library, how may I help you?”

Woman: “Do you have Halloween on video?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry but we don’t have a copy of Halloween.”

Woman: “Can you get one?”

Me: “Sure, but If you’d like us to buy a copy you’ll have to come down and fill out a purchase request form.”

Woman: “A form… What’s that?”

Me: [Blink] [thinking that I am surrounded by a pack of fools] “A piece of paper. You have to fill out a piece of paper to request any item for purchase.”

Woman: “Oh. How long would that take?”

Me: “It will take a few weeks from the form to the processed item. But you have to come down to fill out the form.”

Woman: “Oh. OK” [click]

It ads a bit of texture to the tale by knowing that the woman sounded as if she had a mouthful of ice cream as she talked… Not that she was actually eating anything, but that’s just the way she sounded.

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~ by Woeful on September 19, 2008.

9 Responses to “Form?”

  1. Which part of Ranganathan’s rules doesn’t this library understand?
    Does this state not offer ILL for films?
    Do the librarians there ever take it upon themselves to mentally put an item on a potential order list?
    Does the form require the customer to provide reviews that verify “literary value?”
    Does the form usually lead to a purchase assuming the item such as this one would have popular appeal within the collection development policy?

  2. Whoa! It sounds like somebody didn’t get their Grande Latte enema this morning… Actually, I didn’t even mention it because it would have no doubt taken about an hour an a half to explain it to this individual, and in that time I was saving the time of about 57 other patrons. Ranganathan would have been be proud! The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one grasshopper.

  3. Isn’t certain formats unavalible for ILLs? Including movies? (Like I really want this one album with the song My Ideal on it, but our only copy in the system is lost and no one will ILL a cassette tape or CD.) And with certain things I know due to buget concerns patrons do have to fill out a request. Cause otherwise (especially entertainment movies) HQ won’t buy them so they can save their money for the latest Michael Moore or Ann what’s her face book.

  4. Sure, it’s not as easy to get videos as books via ILL, but it is possible as long as the items aren’t new. This particular woman wasn’t talking about about getting the items on loan she was talking about getting the items to have and to hold until theft do they part. Or at least that’s the way it sounded. Who knows? She sounded irregular enough that she might have been thinking that I could simply conjure them up with an incantation… Actually I was about to mention ILL but she hung up first. Either way, she was going to have to come in as we don’t do ILLs via the telephone either.

  5. Oooh that’s like using the word database, you must be more careful.

  6. “We haven’t got it but there are ways we can do it but we need you to actually come into the library for us to action this for you and the results won’t be immediate.”
    Which part of Working In A Library Within The Grim Rules of Real Life does libraryresearch not understand?

  7. The idea behind making people come in to fill out the form is that if someone cares enough to make an appearance then they will probably actually make the effort to pick the item up once we take on the expense and trouble of purchasing it. Even then it’s a crap shoot.

  8. I can’t blame her for being annoyed. The last FIVE times I tried to rent a video it was GONE! Meaning they didn’t own it anymore. And this was not a title that would have been considered ancient!

    What’s the use of having a video card if they’re not going to bother keeping their store fully stocked? I suppose that’s the appeal of Netflix.

  9. That’s the theft brigade at work. You should insist that they buy another copy! Tell them Woeful sent you 😉

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