A lady patron arrived at the circ desk and alerted me we had an interlibrary loan for her. I fetched it from our holds cabinet while the lady patron dug in her purse for her card. This often happens with ILL-seeking patrons, particularly in the past couple of years that we've been enforcing the YES, YOU NEED YOUR DAMN CARD policy.
"Oh, no," I said, "we don't need your card for interlibrary loans."
I didn't think so, but I came in without my card the other day and the
young lady here said I had to have it. I tried to explain that I never
have for interlibrary loans before, but she wouldn't back down. By the
time I'd walked back home to get it, I decided to just wait."
"Do you remember which day this was?" I asked, knowing the answer already.
"Mmm... a couple days ago. Probably Saturday."
I see." Yep, I was right. Not surprisingly, it had been Newbie
Greenhorn Ms. S being overzealous about her job. "Well, I apologize for
"Oh, it's no problem. I needed the walk."
lady patron signed her ILL slip and left, at which point I turned to
Mrs. C and we both exchanged looks of befuddlement at Ms. S's stupidity.
"What did she even...? Was she trying to...? Is it even possible? I mean, how could...?" I said.
"I don't know," Mrs. C said.
confusion may seem odd, but that's probably just because you don't know
how ILLs work around here. We don't require a card for ILLs because we
don't check them out on the patron's library card at all. The
interlibrary loaned books, you see, are already checked out on OUR
library's library card before they're even mailed to us. Once we receive
it, we check the appropriate accordion file folder
to see who wanted it locally, process that information into our ILL
binder so that we have a record of the book's title, the patron
requesting it and its due date, then we give it to that patron and have
them sign the accompanying ILL slip to show that they received it.
Again, we DO NOT check the book out to them on their library card. That
screws up the whole process for us and for the other libraries, as once a
book is checked out to a patron and not a library it suddenly becomes
subject to a much less generous loan time (say 2 weeks instead of a
month) and causes other problems down the line. So the fact that Ms. S
insisted on seeing a card might mean she's been checking the ILLs out on
patron cards, screwing up not only our library but others as well.
The madness--it's spreading!