Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Hi, My Name Is Kj, and I'm Addicted to Library Requests..."

So, at the end of 2004, when I stopped being able to purchase every book I wanted to read and turned instead to the obliging New York Public Library, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It wasn't long till I figured out that you could rent movies from the library for free, two weeks at a time, and (in NY) the late fee was only a dollar a day, so even four days late, it was still cheaper than renting. My roommates at the time can attest to the fact that after possibly forcing them to watch one of my "new arrivals" till 1am, I would then pull out my headphones and watch another movie till about 3, in a dark living room, so as not to keep them up any longer. You see, you can place items on hold online, and choose what library you want to pick them up at. I swear, most of my job errands were actually reasons for me to swing by the Jefferson Market (with my beloved curving staricase) or Ottendorfer Branches of the NYPL to pick up the 3-12 movies that arrived for me every week. I would check online sometimes five times a day to see if what I was waiting for had arrived yet. By noon, "American Splendor" might be in, but "Green Street Hooligans" would still be in transit, or worse, might have 277 Holds ahead of me. And NYPL would only let you request a maximum of 15 items at a time, so the very second something arrived, I moved another item up from my queue. It was a perfect poor man's NetFlix.
Well, the Seattle Library is quite decent, but the branch locations are not as easy to get to. I have to route my way through Ballard and switch buses, and time it perfectly along with another trip, like going to work. But, unlike NY, their late fees are only 15 cents day. Huzzah!!

And here's the biggest news, which I just found out. You can have an RSS feed telling you when your hold items have arrived! This is revolutionary! So, Seattle Public Library, though you're essentially out of my way, and you're a lot slower with hold items, and you have an understandably limited catalogue compared to New York, still, I salute Thee!

And I'm currently waiting for:

Northern Exposure, Sixth Season
Apocalypto, Mel Gibson
Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron
The Bridge, Eric Steel
Beaty and the Beast, Disney
The Holiday, (don't judge me)


ROBERTA said...

thanks for being so vulnerable. they say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery....and so i too must admit that i am addicted to "library requests" - but my problem may be worse than yours since i reserve not only DVD's but all the books on the NY Times besteller lists, plus music CD's and talking books for my trips away from the Peninsula - which are often!

so for people like us, going to the library to get our goodies makes every visit another Christmas morning! and what's not to like about THAT!


Unknown said...

You have inspired me. I just requested a library card on line... isn't that both terrible and exciting?