Friday, April 6, 2012

The British, er, the Regulars, er, the Regulations Are Coming!

Edited from this source
     Breaking news! We'll finish up the YA mini-series next week. Library news has precedence.
In a previous post, I wrote about how California has entirely stopped funding its libraries. We all knew cuts would be made to the budget. Temporary funding from the county saved the Lake County branches from losing staff and other other things right away.
     Which was AWESOME of them, by the way! So grateful.
     However, that wasn't meant to be forever. Changes have arrived.
     These changes sucked the new book budget dry, as we know. Patrons and the "Friends of the Library" have valiantly donated lots of new reads. Well done on that front, everyone!
     Here's the next the big change:
     I actually think this was a smart change. If you've ever ordered a book from a different library, maybe you've wondered how the books are delivered to you free of charge. The state used to pay the delivery fee. Post-budget cuts, the county has been covering delivery costs. Now they're trying to minimize the number of trips made to deliver the books. Let's use a hypothetical to explain how this works.
     Say I order the book Cupcakes 'n More, and three libraries own a copy: Upper Lake, Sonoma County Library, and Fort Bragg Library. Upper Lake is one of four Lake County Library branches (including Lakeport, Middletown, and Redbud). In order to save money, the delivery system will now automatically sign me up for the Upper Lake copy. Pre-budget cuts, a copy would be randomly chosen based on availability.
     The pros of the new way: it saves money this way, because the book has a shorter distance to travel. The book(s) stays local.
     The cons of the new way: if four other members of the Lake County Library system requested Cupcakes 'n More before me, I have to wait for them to finish with it. They're each allowed 3 weeks to read the book. Add travel time, and I could be waiting 11 weeks or more (or less) for my book. What if I ordered the book for a party in 3 weeks? Well, that's just too bad!
     My Conclusion: Altogether, I think it's a smart way to save money; it's just unfortunate that the wait times could be longer.
     As always, go love your library! Have a good week, and we'll discuss the last YA topic next Friday: "Are all YA books poorly written?"

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