July 29, 2014

I'm actively starting to hate the Weber County Library System

I know, I know--you should never hate libraries, but the policies are so punitive and make it so costly to use the library that I find my blood pressure rise every time I have to interact in any way with the library system.  Oh, Davis County Library System, I miss you so!

First--Davis lets you renew books after they are overdue, Weber does not

Davis renewal period is two weeks and Weber is one week from the day you renew.  If you are on top of things and renew early than you only get an extra few days.  If you wait until the day the books are due to get the full week, you run the risk of forgetting and not being able to renew at all (no renewals after the books are overdue).

Davis doesn't make you have a pin number.

Davis you can use your card until you have $14.00 in fines (at least, that is the amount I need to pay on the card that is locked).  Weber it is $4.00.  Are you kidding me?

Davis you can put books on hold even if you have outstanding fines.  Not so, Weber.

Davis still has librarians check your books out and have outside drop-off boxes at all their locations.  The two Weber locations I have tried you have to check out your own materials (which is fine if you are there by yourself but not if you are there with six children) and the outside drop off boxes are only available after hours.

At one location I tried in the Weber County system you have to check in your own books one at a time on a little conveyor belt.  What do you think my six children were doing while I checked in 30 books one at a time?  I don't know--I couldn't watch them, I was checking in books!

One Weber location has the children's nonfiction mixed in with the adult nonfiction.  I understand that space is limited in that location, but that's a pretty anti-boy thing to do.  Most boys prefer non-fiction, and you should encourage boys to read every single way possible.  Also, as a parent, how am I supposed to patrol my offspring if the children's materials are not all in one location?

Weber you can't renew books if you have any outstanding fines.  What????????????????

I've been getting more and more frustrated but today when I sat down to renew some books and put some others on hold and I couldn't, my pregnancy hormones exploded and I had a bit of a melt down.  I recognize that for most normal, childless people, these regulations and organization are not a big deal.  I usually have about 60 library books at my house at all times.  My kids get to pick out three each (theoretically, if they find something awesome I let them get more) so that is 20 right there.  Then I usually have science books for our science unit (20 + 20), and then the history books for my history unit (20 + 20 + 20).  I don't mind the occasional fine for legitimate things, but I'm finding it really discouraging trying to navigate the Weber County System.

I wanted to put some books on hold today and then make a big trip to the library in a few days, but I can't because I can't renew the books because of fines and I can't put any on hold.  So that means two trips to the library this week.  I can't afford the gas, I can't afford the time, I can't afford the assault to my sanity of taking my children to the library that often.  And thus, my hating rant.

Does anyone else have these issues or are you all going to tell me to be more responsible and not rack up $4.00 in fines in the first place?


  1. Amen!

    Last month, I owed a whopping 40 cents on my account. So, I could not request a book from another branch. It meant going into the library (3 days later) and paying my 40 cents. Then, making the request. Then, returning for the book. SUPER ANNOYING!!!

  2. Are you sure about requesting books if you have fines? Because I do it all the time as far as I know. Or maybe I requested the books when I didn't have fines and then they came in when I did have fines. You never know. But I am so happy to read this rant because I had the same traumatic experience moving from Davis to Weber library systems. In the beginning we had to go the the Main branch which has the absolute meanest people on the planet working there. Luckily they built the Pleasant Valley branch a couple years later where everyone is a lot more pleasant.

    The one week renewal is ridiculous but the thing that always made me the most upset was that they would charge me for any little tiny problem with the book even though it was already there when we got the book. They kept telling me that it was my responsibility to inspect EVERY SINGLE PAGE of EVERY SINGLE BOOK I checked out to make sure it wasn't damaged. This was back before they had the auto check out so I had to torture them just as much as they tortured me. I stood in line and inspected the books in front of them while they waited and if I saw one tiny speck of dirt or bent corner I would make them write a note on the computer so I wouldn't get charged when I returned it. We all very much hated each other at that library. I could go on and on but my comment would be longer than your blog post. I'm just grateful the new branch opened so that nightmare ended.

  3. Amber and Lara, thank you so much for your comments! I am glad I am not alone in this. My hubby just rolled his eyes at my rant and told me to, "rally my homeschooling buddies and demand change." :) And yes, Lara, I have already experienced first hand at considerable expense the Weber County obsession with pristine books. Really, do they want people to check out their books or not???

  4. Oh brother...I commented, and the whole thing got deleted! :P It was too long of a comment anyway. :)

    I go to the North Branch library in N. Ogden and haven't had any problems, but I also have never in my life checked out 60 books at one time! :) I don't think I could keep track of that many books and not have clammy hands. It stresses me out to have fines looming over my head, so I rarely have any. :) :) :)

    This may help a little bit...I receive e-mail notices when books are due, three days before they are due. There's a grace period, though...If you check in your books within three days after they are due, there are no fines to pay. But, if you check them in on the 4th day, you pay the three days' worth of fines. I like the grace period and have never had a problem with it.

    As far as checking out books -- I love doing it myself and I have my kids help me. They think it's fun. :) There used to be loooong lines for checking out books and this cut down the lines considerably. I have never had to wait to check out books. :) I love that. Checking books in doesn't bother me, either, because I let my kids help with that, too. They ask if they can set the books on the conveyor belt and touch the computer screen prompts. BUT I've never returned more than 10 or so books on a visit... :) :) :)

    You can renew books online, which gives you an extra week or you can renew in person which gives you another full three weeks, if there are no holds on the books. I have never tried to renew with fines, so I don't know anything about that...

    I've had to check in damaged books before and have had *no problems* whatsoever at the North Branch Library. If it was a torn page, they taped it with some special tape and that was that. No fine, no problem. If it was pulling off the pocket at the back of the book, no problem, they taped it back on. I've never, ever had them charge me for trivial damage nor make a big deal out of it. However, I have heard from several other friends that the Main Library is a completely different story when it comes to damaged books. I have no idea why and I would be upset if a damage issue was handled this way at my library when there is no justifiable cause. I used to live by the Main Library and my experience going there was not particularly positive...The librarians at the check-out desk were not kind, friendly, helpful any time I was there. I have heard this same complaint from others, as well. I've wondered if the librarians are cranky because of the neighborhood the library is located or if it's the teenagers I saw hanging around all of the time out front or wandering around the library. I don't know, but I do remember hardly ever going to that library because it just wasn't a pleasant place to go for me.

    My complaints with the N. Branch library are that they close early on Fridays and Saturdays and that the drop-off bin is locked during the open hours. I like to just drop things off in there sometimes without having to go in. That whole thing makes no sense to me.

    I need to say, though, that I live very close to the library, as in I can see it from my living room window, so I have a hard time forgetting to return library books and I really have no excuse for them to be late since it's *right there*. :)

    As I've been typing all of this, I can't get out of my head that you have checked out as many as 60 books! haha :) :) I'm just in awe...I think it's awesome and I can see why you are struggling with the Weber County System for that reason alone.

    I hope I have helped...a little?? :)

  5. One time when I was in 8th grade, Mom and Dad left me at the Main library on Saturday, thinking it closed at 9 PM but really it closed at 7PM and a librarian drove me home, because she didn't want to make me wait with all the homeless people. I was forever grateful to her. And that is my one experience that I remember about the Ogden Library.

    Kami, your ever forgotten middle sister.

  6. The main Ogden library scares me too--although they have a great big kids section with some awesome computer games and puzzles and all sorts of things that Ruth really enjoyed the few times we took her. I mostly was commenting though because I LOVE THE PLEASANT VALLEY BRANCH TOO!!!!! I am sorry it is so far away from you Ands, because it was right by our old house and brand new and lovely and they were really great about getting books for you from other branches (since they are kinda small). That is all. Oh, and the first library we went to in Miami was SOOO ghetto but then we were told about the Pinecrest branch (right by our house) and they are AWESOME and they have toddler reading time every Monday that I have gone to religiously since moving here and mostly its a latino lady singing songs with actions for the kids with a couple of board books thrown in--obviously great for toddlers---and then they have this separate room where they let them throw balls around and play on mats. Anyway. I love it. We have to scan ours out by ourselves, but if you ask, they'll do it for you. Ruthie likes scanning them, so its not a big deal. I think we get our books for a month, but we take them back every week to get new ones after story time.

  7. Librarians are certainly Nazis...everywhere! Right now we are enduring the worst library yet in London. Although it's the largest library in the city, it stinks. There are hardly any books in the kids' section. Oh yeah, and each card is limited to 12 books checked out. In New York we could take out 100 books on each card and our selection was from 40+ branches too. We can't even go to the library to do our academic work because they have a policy of not shushing anyone, i.e. it's very loud. But we've had this problem as many other libraries too. Too many of them have become after-school hangouts and simply places for people to borrow movies.