Monday, September 28, 2009

UK Libraries and the Generation of Now Now Now

In a pleasant little news snippet, More than four thousand public libraries across the UK, Wales, and Northern Ireland now allow anyone with an existing library card or proof of address. If you have a library card in London, you can now use it in Cardiff and so on. (Assuming you want to go to London or Cardiff - any Doctor Who fan can tell you that's where all the aliens invade or attack or just horrible things in general happen.)

This is a pretty cool idea, and one I think will work. They're also considering allowing people to return the books at a library other than the one they took it from, the logistics of which make me twitch. If I'm looking for a book in Belfast, I really don't want to be told I have to go to Derry. I don't even like it if I have to go to two places in the same city. Does the second library ship it back to the library of origin? Is it limited to libraries in the same city?

The article mentions the system is very similar to British Colombia's existing BC OneCard. BC OneCard allows you to return a book in any participating BC OneCard library, which still makes me antsy about waiting times.

And really, isn't that a product of my generation? If I have to wait for anything, it's unbearable. Everything has to be instant or I'm unhappy. People used to (and still do) hand write letters and send them through the postal system. Now we're all about e-mail; we call regular old mail 'snail mail'. Even the instant world of computers and the internet make me fidget; my computer needs to load quickly. My connection speed has to be fast or I'm sitting there impatiently tapping my fingers and rolling my eyes. Maybe I should just slow down and read a book or something.


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