Saturday, December 26, 2009

Robyn vs. The Library

I have a problem -- a serious, crippling condition and it revolves around library books. I can walk into a library for one book and leave with seven. The problem really hits hard when it comes time for these books to be turned in. I don't know why, but I never seem to be able to finish them in an appropriate amount of time. So I end up renewing them. Again . . . and again . . . and again.

Before I know it, I've maxed-out in the number of times I can renew a book before it's required back at the library. And that's when I feel panicky, sad and resentful.

And so it came to pass that last week, a book that I really, truly have been meaning to read was due. And of course, in true Robyn form, I had renewed it the maximum number of times.

Realizing that I would have to turn the book in the following day or face an accumulation of fines until I did, I got clever. I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and thwart the library.

The San Jose Public Library has close to a dozen branches. You can borrow books from any of them and if your particular branch doesn't have the book you're looking for, it's absolutely possible to request and receive it at your branch from another. Their library website also allows you to search for your book and see which location you can check it out. So, channeling my inner detective, I searched the library for the book I was going to face relinquishing.

And I found it! In the Almaden branch across the city (about 30 minutes from my apartment), there it was! I confirmed this around 2:00, waited anxiously for the clock to hit 5:00 to leave work, and I was off.

I raced traffic from Palo Alto to San Jose and found the library. I parked, pulled up the book info that I'd saved on my phone and set off in search of the shelf containing my book. I walked in, found the shelf . . . and searched.

Scanning numbers, scanning titles, I couldn't find it! I scoured the entire bookcase thinking perhaps it had been tucked away in the wrong spot, but no. After several minutes of feeling like a moron, I finally walked over to the library catalogue computer. Lo and behold, I had JUST missed it -- it had already been checked out! Never one to forget the lesson about lemons and lemonade, I looked around and found a couple of other books to peruse . . .

I looked up the main library page and raced off to the nearest branch that had the book -- a mere five miles away. Thankfully, I made it in time. I had my book! And the following day, I turned in the other copy, smugly smiling at my success in fighting the system.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Would it be weird t osay that this sonds like something I would do...?

No wonder we're friends. ;)