Monday, November 20, 2006

One size does not fit all

The provincial government is proposing a one-card system for libraries throughout BC.
What does this mean?
Well, simply put all BC residents would be able to use one-card to take out any book from any BC library. Not only that but they would also be able to return this book to any BC library.
Sound good.
Sure, if you live in Vancouver. Vancouver libraries are run by paid employees. These libraries systems are computerized. Transporting books from one library on the lower mainland to another is relatively easy.
If, however, you live on Mayne Island this proposed system is a nightmare. Our library is run by volunteers. Our library is not computerized. We are slowly moving towards this but currently we are still using the card system. Do you remember it. Due date lovingly stamped on. During the summer our library becomes jammed-packed with eager readers who would love to take out a book or ten. Currently we gently explain to these readers that because they are not residents we can not allow them to take out a book. We then direct them to our local bookstore. Our local bookstore has a wide variety of books both new and used. If the one-card system was in place any one from any where could take out a book. Then these books would disappear into the system. Would we see them again? Maybe. Would we loose volunteers due to the increased workload? Probably. Is shipping books from our library to others expensive. Well, we do live on an island.
Please, hear us when we say, "One size does not fit all."

The feeling expressed in this post are strictly that of the writer (Leanne Dyck). And do not necessarily reflect those held by any other Mayne Island library volunteer.


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