Saturday, March 24

Libraries Rock!

I haven't been a member of a library since I was, oh I dunno, twelve. Since then I mostly read on the recommendation of others, and so I usually had someone to borrow the books being read off of too.

However, this session's Book Group book (John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath) has caused me problems, not least because my potential lender is busy reading the book themselves. And so I decided to try my local library.

And my how they've changed. I must say I was terribly impressed. Online catalogues and renewals are old hat now, and I was expecting that much, but what I found amazing was how federated it's all become.

With my single membership, I am able to borrow books from any library in my borough. I can also return the same books to any other branch. I am also able to query (and, I think, request) the holdings of any library in six London boroughs. Amazing really, although the library staff may have seemed a bit bemused when I congratulated them on their facilities.

Anyway, I was impressed. And after being referred to a branch library, I also managed to find a copy of The Grapes of Wrath to boot. And if you're wondering, yes, I did first go over it with a wet-wipe...