I think what I have to say will make me sound like a complete bitch. Maybe I am the adult version of a pouting spoiled brat who didn’t get her way. I’d rather think of myself as an nonsupporting cynic. Let me vent, get it out of my system and move on without looking back.
I am disappointed with my hometown library.
There I said it. Every year I get an annual membership “bill” along with a nice letter outlining the latest news. This year they announced that their news was “great!” They got themselves a library website. Tahdah! On WordPress. Oh. Joy. I checked it out and Oh joy turned to just Oh.
Okay. I need to back up a little and paint the entire picture. I need to explain myself on this one. A few years ago, maybe five, I approached my library about developing a website. Not just any old website, but an honest to goodness, up to date and searchable catalog. I got the idea I could help them “get with the program” by introducing them to LibraryThing. I thought this site was the best way to go for a library of their size (and I still think so). With LibraryThing it is easy to add books to the holdings, easy to tag books, easy to create genres, easy to create collections, easy to search, easy to post pictures, easy to create an “about me” section for updates and “happenings” like book sales and story hours. Easy. Easy. Easy. Did I mention it was easy? I saw LibraryThing as a perfect match for my tiny library AND I was willing to do all the work. At the time I was told the library would NEVER go world wide web. It would lose its charm and blahblahblah.
Funny how times change. Last year I received the annual membership
letter bill with the announcement, “we’re thinking about joining the 21st century! We’re thinking about getting a website!” Again, I offered my services. Let me build something on LibraryThing. With a check for membership and donation, I might add. This was ignored. No reply at all.
So. This year my library got itself a website. Not a searchable, up to date catalog. But a blog. Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love WordPress. I’ve been here forever. A blog is good but it’s not a searchable catalog. In order to tell patrons what NEW arrivals the library has received someone has to go in and update a list. It’s clunky and it doesn’t showcase the library’s incredible one-of-a-kind collection. Grrrrrr. It’s so frustrating I’m tempted to create my own LibraryThing account for them. Although it would be nearly impossible because I don’t have the ISBNs and OCMs for their material. I don’t even know the extent of their archives (except to say that it SHOULD be cataloged because it is impressive). Okay. I’ll admit it. My motives (in the beginning) were self-serving. Everyone knows I have a strict reading list. I know what I’ll be reading in November 2016. I wanted a searchable catalog so that whenever I went home I didn’t have to lug 3-4 books with me. I would actually visit the library. No such luck. I’ll continue to lug my books. I’ll read the blog, but bring my own books home.