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So, I'm sure most public library staff have experienced the patron who checks out a lot of A/V. And by a lot, I mean more than 10 items. We have regulars who check out 30+ items weekly. I'm not sure how they haven't already checked out everything in the collection already.....

And we know that many of these folks are just copying the items onto their computers. I'm not going to speak against that practice.

What bothers (irks!) me is the nervous babbling of these folks as they check out. They know they are going to do something illegal and they feel like they have to justify taking out so many items. Last night, 4 minutes before closing, a girl came up with what turned out to be 90+ CDs. :-/ It took forever to uncase, check, and then checkout to her. And the whole time she kept up an embarrassed babble about how she couldn't help herself--she had to check out all these CDs and the library should put a limit so that she wouldn't find herself in the position of checking out so much.

I just wanted to tell her to shut the heck up. I don't care about her obsession with music. Or her inability to limit the amount she's checking out. All I know is she came up at the last second with more items in the basket than I usually check out to 10 patrons combined. It's my job to check them out to her, but I don't have to make her feel good about the federal crime she's about to commit....

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dealupa
May. 2nd, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
I hate when people try to make excuses for themselves and make you complicit in them. Like, no, no! It's fine to break copyright! I mean, like, everyone else does it! We certainly don't mind! *eyeroll*

I highly recommend limits, though! Our local limit (tiny library!) is 5 audio CDs, 3 books on CD, 3 DVDs. The system-wide limit (giant consortium, more than half the state), is 50 items total, 10 DVDs, and I don't know about the rest. (i.e. you can check out 3 DVDs from us and get 7 more through ILL or at another library or w/e.)

We've recently discussed upping our local DVD limit because our shelves are getting full, but some staff are balking because we keep the discs behind the desk (after losing $1,000 in DVDs to theft) and they'd be too much of a pain when someone checks out 5 seasons of Buffy and you have to stuff 30+ discs in their cases.
nialla42
May. 2nd, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
I've had a few people I know well talk about burning audiobooks to their computer so they can transfer it to their portable device. Technically legal, as long as they delete the copies when they've turned in the CDs.

It still makes me a bit uncomfortable to hear it, so since they're people I know pretty well, I've essentially told them, "I know what you're doing, but I'm going to be putting my fingers in my ears and start humming if you talk about it."

I would definitely want some sort of limit per checkout, though of course they'd just bring it back and get another stack. We're tiny and don't do music CDs anymore, but we limit to 10 items total, with 3 being DVDs. I'd like to bump that up a little, but the board hasn't been down with that idea. We've had losses due to "checked out eternally" items which is what makes them twitchy about an increase, but hopefully now that we're using a collection agency, that will improve.
beadylady
May. 2nd, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
We don't have CDs, but only DVDs and we only let people have two at a time (unless they're faculty). Last summer, we had a patron who kept checking out eight or 10 per day, and then returning them after a couple of hours. Finally one of the librarians figured out he was burning copies on his laptop. As soon as we figured it out, before we could say anything to him, it suddenly stopped.
qlarue
May. 2nd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
All of the libraries in my area have limits on items you can check out. 5 on the electronic items and 20 on books. It don't stop people from copying things but it will cut your losses if they decide not to return the items.
doombird
May. 2nd, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
"You should create laws to limit me in my actions so that I don't have to exercise self-control."

Boy is that gonna come back to bite her in the ass later. Actually, to be honest if it did she probably wouldn't recognize the irony.
full_metal_ox
May. 2nd, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
"You should create laws to limit me in my actions so that I don't have to exercise self-control."

Any such laws that might become necessary will, of course, also wind up restricting the actions of a lot of people who haven't been abusing the privilege--nice job breaking it, doofus!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

Authority Record

the fuck
library_mofo
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherfucker"
For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

*Open to librarians; library associates, specialists, technicians, and paraprofessionals of all kinds; library school students; library aides and volunteers; and all of those who love libraries, or even just love a particular librarian. Welcome.

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