Lanna Michaels (lannamichaels) wrote in bad_service,
Lanna Michaels

Library blues.

This isn't major bad service, but it's been going on for months and it's pissing me off.

I live in Pittsburgh and use the Carnegie libraries as much as possible. I frequent the Oakland library, the main branch, where I get out most of the books/CDs/movies, and the Squirrel Hill branch, which is closer to me but has less selection. I generally get things out in Oakland and then return them in Squirrel Hill. For those not familiar with Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill and Oakland are two neighboring neighborhoods about five minutes apart by car. I don't have a car, and this method works for me.

There are several ways to return items to the library. The first is to put the items in the book drop (there are separate for books and all other media) outside the library. The second is to go to the checkout counter and place the items in shoots that are inside the desk. This is right next to the librarians. The third is to wait in a line for up to ten minutes and hand them to the librarian. This is time consuming and I hardly ever do this.

The problem? They take forever to check in the items. I returned two CDs on Friday, which was the day they were due. I put them in the shoot in the desk. I check my record online on Sunday and there's a fine. Apparently, despite the fact that I put them in an hour after they opened for the day, they didn't check them in until Saturday. I called to see if they could take the fine off my card, but they can't because the library that owns the CDs isn't inside the Pittsburgh city limits. o.O So I'm told to call those libraries. But those libraries can't take the fine off, because I didn't return the CDs to those libraries and the libraries got them when they got them. They don't know that I returned them on time.

Last time this happened, I returned a DVD on a Thursday and it was checked in by the lending library on a Tuesday. That's a $2.50 fine. The library is supposed to check in the item when it gets it to show that I don't have it anymore, and then ship it back to the lending library. But they don't, the fines keep adding up, and I plain don't have time to stand in line and wait. This is driving me crazy. So, no, not major suckiness, but it's really bothering me.

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